Field Guide/Mammals/Canada Lynx

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Lynx canadensis (Canada Lynx)
Family: Felidae
Size: Total length: ~3 feet, 91 cm[1]

Tail length: 4 inches, 10 cm[1]

Height: ~2 feet, 60 cm[2]

Weight: 20-44 pounds, 9-20 kg[1]
Description: Countoured body. Brown/gray and white fur on respective dorsal and parietal sides.[1] Oversized, hairy feet with sharp claws ideal for traversing snow-covered ground and hunting.[2]
Similar Species: Brown coloring, pronounced tufts of ear fur, distinctive short beard under chin,[1] and a black tip on stubbed tail [3] differentiate the Canada lynx from a bobcat.

Range: The Canada lynx is located across northern Canada, as well as the northwest United States stemming from British Columbia.[2] They can be found in northern Minnesota, specifically in the Arrowhead region.[1]
Habitat: The Canada lynx resides in coniferous forests where they can forge shelters from trees and other natural features.[2]
Diet: Canada lynx are carnivores that only reside where their ideal prey, the snowshoe hare, lives.[1] When resources are scarce, Canada lynx eat smaller mammals, such as mice and squirrels,[4] a variety of birds, and occasionally larger animals.[2]
Activity: The Canada lynx is considered nocturnal, as the majority of their hunting occurs at night. Their anatomy, including large, highly receptive ears, allows them to hear their prey and attack quietly.[4] These mammals are not incredibly quick, relying on their ability to be stealthy in order to catch their food.[2]

Reproduction: Mating season for the Canada lynx is the end of winter. A litter ranges between one and six kittens with an approximately two-month gestation period.[5] Females stay with the kittens after birth.[2]
Lifespan: 15-20 years.[2]

Notes: Since 2000, this mammal has been considered "federally threatened", not to be confused with an "endangered species."[1]
Canadian lynx by Keith Williams.jpg


  1. a b c d e f g h Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (2012), Mammals of Minnesota: Canada lynx,, retrieved September 23, 2012 
  2. a b c d e f g h Canadian Geographic, Canada lynx fact sheet,, retrieved September 23, 2012 
  3. University of Minnesota, Duluth (2009), Canada Lynx of the Great Lakes Region,, retrieved September 23, 2012 
  4. a b National Geographic, Lynx,, retrieved September 23, 2012 
  5. Tumlison, R. (1987), "Felis lynx", Mammalian Species 269: 1–8