Find the best places to hunt Lynx in Canada and discover the Lynx's Physical Description, Range, Habitat, Food Source, Breeding Habits, and Status.

Provinces with Lynx Hunting

Province / Territory

Species

Season

Nunavut

Not Present

 

Northwest Territories

Not Present

 

Yukon

Not Present

 

British Columbia

Present

 Season Available

Alberta

Present

 

Saskatchewan

Present

 

Manitoba

Present

 

Ontario

Present

 

Quebec

Present

 

New Brunswick

Present

 

Nova Scotia

Present

No Season 
Prince Edward Island Present  
Newfoundland Present Trapping Only

Selecting a Calibre for Lynx

Vital Shot Placement for Lynx

Original Photo By: Susanne Nilsson - Flickr

Modified By Canada-hunts.ca 

Not to damage the pelt seems to be the key to this selection yet you still don't want an exploding projectile if it hits a blade of grass. The 22-250 and the .223 with 80-grain bullets get the nod in a lot of forms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynx Paw

foot pads are usually obscured by dense hair, and tracks do not sink more than 8" into snow.

Lynx Paw

Front

  • 2.375 - 4.25 Inches (6 - 10.8 cm) Long
  • 2.375 - 5.625 Inches (6 - 14.3 cm) Wide

Rear

  • 2.5 - 4.125 Inches (6.4 - 10.5 cm) Long
  • 2.125 - 5 Inches (6.4 - 12.7 cm) Wide

Trail Width

  • 5 - 9.5 Inches (12.7 - 24.1 cm) Wide
Photo By: Qwekiop 147 - Flickr  

 

 

 

Lynx Scat

 

Lynx Scat

Photo By: US Forestry Service - Flickr

 

 Range and Habitat of Lynx

Lynx Range Map of Canada

Lynx Range Map of CanadaOriginal map of canada: By Nzeemin [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Modified By: Canada-Hunts.ca

Generally associated with boreal forests, the Lynx can also found in parkland and mountain forests. It requires developing stands of forest to provide prey and mature forest to provide den sites. Its preferred habitat is thick

under story

vegetation like those found deep in evergreen forests near rocky areas, bogs, and swamps that are found throughout the Boreal Forests and Rocky Mountains of North America. Anywhere from the tree-line of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, on southward to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. In the Rocky Mountains, it is found in British Columbia and Alberta.

There is a very strong relationship between the snowshoe hare and the lynx in that 75% of its diet consists of snowshoe hare. The Lynx home range size may vary from 8 to 800 square kilometers, depending on the cats’ sex, age, and abundance of prey. Larger summer home ranges are typical, due to broader habitat use and greater availability of alternate prey. In addition to the abundance of prey, it also requires protection from severe weather, availability of denning and resting sites, dense cover for hunting, and freedom from human disturbance.

Male and female home ranges commonly overlap but except for mating season, there is limited contact with other males or females.

Forest fires, mining, and logging are major factors that effects diminish available Lynx habitat. 

Lynx (Lynx)
Lynx Males Females
Life Span 12 – 20 years
Shoulder Height 48–56 centimeters (19–22 in) 
Overall Length 80 and 100 centimeters (31 and 39 in)
Weight 5–18 kilograms (11–40 lb)
Weight at Birth 175 to 235 g (6.2 to 8.3 oz)
Tail Length  5–15 centimeters (2.0–5.9 in)
Hearing Good Hearing 
Eyes Excellent 
Dental Formula  I 3/3, C 1/1, Pm 2/2, M 1/1 X 2 = 28
Body Temperature 101.5 degrees F
Track Paw - normally 4 toes show.
Can Travel 80 Km/hr (50 m/hr)
Diet Carnivour
Sexual Maturity  2-3 years                10 months
Breeding Time March and April
Gestation N/A 63-70 days
Birthing N/A May or early June
# in Litter N/A 2-4 Kittens, average
Weaning 3 Months
Communication They scent-mark their ranges by spraying urine and depositing feces on snow or tree stumps. The lynx has a variety of vocalizations, like those made by house cats, but louder.

 

Lynx (Lynx)

Lynx Lynx

Photo By - Michael Zahra - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mzahra1/4254614252/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11517734

 

 Lynx - Bobcat Comparison

Comparison of Lynx and BobcatOriginal Lynx Photo From: Pixabay                                     Original Bobcat Photo by: Linda Tanner - Flickr

Modified by: Canada-Hunts.ca

 

Like all cats, the Lynx is an exclusive meat eater.

Synonym(s)

  • Felis canadensis
  • Felis lynx canadensis
  • Felis lynx

Its common name is a Lynx but if you are to do research on this animal try looking up Canada Lynx, Canadian Lynx, Catamount, Gray Wildcat or Lynx Cat.

Because of its similarity to theBobcatit is often mistaken for its cousin. It weighs in at 8 to 11 kilograms (18 to 24 lb), has an overall length of 80 to 105 centimetres (31 to 41 in), stands 48 to 56 centimetres (19 to 22 in) at the shoulder, and has a much shorter tail of 5-15 cm (2.0 -5.9 inches) long.

Distinguishing features include, large paws, black stripes on its forehead, flared facial ruff, long black ear tufts, and the tip of its short tail is black. The ears on the bobcat are rounded whereas the ears on the Lynx are pointed. Also, the Lynx is much larger than the Bobcat.

The lynx's coloring, fur length and large paw size vary according to the climate of their range. The Lynx fur is more uniform in color with less spotting. Its body color will vary from a medium brown to gold to a beige-white color with dark brown spots over its outer body and the surface of its legs. The chest area, the inside of its legs, and its belly for all subspecies of lynx have white fur.

  • Its broad paws make it twice as effective as a bobcat at supporting its weight on the snow.
  • Its hind legs are longer than front legs and sharp, retractable claws.
  • Its front and hind feet each have four functional toes.
  • As you move more north to colder climatic conditions, the fur of the Lynx gets thicker, lighter in color, and their paw becomes larger for traveling on top of the snow.
  • The Canada lynx is a quick efficient climber and a good swimmer.
  • It tends to make its dens under fallen logs or rocky shelves.

Diet and Foraging Strategy of Lynx

Lynx

Lynx_2Original Photo By - Susanne Nilsson - Flickr

Lynx have a very close and consistent predator-prey relationship with the Snowshoe Hare. Snowshoe Hares will compose 33% to 100% of the Lynx diet. This means that the population of the Lynx will be cyclical increasing and decreasing over a ten-year period as it follows the Snowshoe Hare cycle.

Lynxarecarnivorous, feeding almost exclusively and being dependent on snowshoe hares and their numbers. However, when hare numbers fall alternate prey includes squirrels, mice, voles, beaver, muskrat, fish, foxes, sheep, goats, grouse, ptarmigan, waterfowl, turkeys, and other birds.

In addition to sometimes eating carrion it can and may hunt larger animals like white-tailed deer, caribou, and small red deer. Lynxpreferfresh meat but will often store the leftovers of their larger kills by caching it with a layer snow or brush and retrieve the cache within a couple of days.

Adult lynx usually hunt alone at night, with the exception, of course being a female with her cubs. The lynx has two mythologies in hunting. The first is to stalk its prey before pouncing on it. The second is to climb a tree near a trail that is well used by hares and other prey species and ambush the passing prey.  Ambushing techniques are more likely to be used during times of low prey density.

  • Lynx are generally solitary hunters, except females with kittens.
  • The Lynx is nocturnal, and it will cover 3 to 9 kilometers in a 24 hour period with some peaks to 20 kilometers depending on prey densities and snow conditions.
  • Females with kittens have more restricted movements.
  • Home territory changes will either occur from March to June or in mid-winter during the period of greatest nutritional stress. Movements of 100 to 1100 km are common.
  • Dispersing Lynx do not travel further in a 24-hour period than residents. 

Breeding and Reproduction of Lynx

Lynx Kittens

Lynx_kittensPhoto From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dlbezaire/3636709173

Depending on the local climate and the availability of local prey. Female lynx come into estrus for three to five days sometime in March to May. 

The female urinates where a male has marked his territory, and by repeated calling will attract a male for mating purposes. The couple will remain together for a couple of days and mating can occur as much as six times an hour. Females will mate with only one male this season, but the male may mate with multiple females in the same season.

Gestation lasts for around 63 - 70 days so that the young are born in May or early June with the female doing all the rearing of the kittens. Before giving birth, a maternal den is made in very thick brush, inside thickets of shrubs, trees, woody debris, under rock ledges, blow downs, hollow logs, or entangled roots. The dens are generally situated mid-slope and face south or southwest in coniferous or mixed-wood stands that contain a high amount of downed woody debris.

During low hare abundance, some females may only have a litter every other year which shows a great deal of reproductive variance by this cat in that litter size and mortality of kittens is dependent upon the abundance or lack of prey. In times of higher prey populations, litter sizes are larger and mortality rates are lower. But in times of low prey populations, kitten mortality may be as high as 95%.

Litters of 1-5 kittens are born only once a year, with 2-4 being the average. The kittens come into the world weighing from 175 to 235 g (6.2 to 8.3 oz), blind and fully dependent upon their mother for the first 14 days. They are born with a grayish buff fur and have black markings. Kittens open their bright blue eyes at around 10-17 days but as they mature their eyes will become a brown-hazel color. They will begin to walk somewhere between 24 to30 days.

The mother initially brings food to her kittens and allows them to play with it before eating it, thus training their hunting skills. They leave the den after about five weeks, are weaned at twelve weeks and accompany their mother on hunting adventures at seven to nine months of age. The cubs will winter with their mother but as the next breeding season begins (10 months of age), they will be forced to leave their mother as she will be coming into estrus. The male cubs will leave earlier and move farther away than female cubs who frequently settle within a portion of their mother’s home range.

The kittens do not reach full adult size until around two years old. However, Female Lynx are capable of breeding at 10 months of age, however,  they generally do not breed for another year. Males will be two to three years old before they reach sexual maturity.

Status of Lynx in Canada

Province Status
Nunavut Not Ranked
Northwest Territories Secure
Yukon Secure
British Columbia Apparently Secure
Alberta Secure
Saskatchewan Secure
Manitoba Secure
Ontario Secure
Quebec Secure
New Brunswick Critically Imperilled
Nova Scotia Critically Imperilled
Prince Edward Island N/A
Newfoundland Vunerable
Labrador Apparently Secure

 

Here in Canada, the trapping industry in all provinces except PEI, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, year after year takes a number of Lynx for their pelts and in turn, take a leading role in the death of Lynx. On a ten year cycle, the most important impact on the Lynx has got to be following the cyclic population of the snowshoe hare.

There are a few reports of rabies and distemper in the Canadian Lynx, however, its effect on the Lynx population is unknown.

The Lynx is iconic for being an animal of the Canadian Wilderness but it seems to do well even within human developments. I even know of a case where a lady started to let a lynx into her home and kicked it out.

The timber industry depending on its method of reforestation may actually increase the incidence of Lynx as it creates more habit for the snowshoe hare.

 

References

  • http://lcvirtualwildlife.ca/index.php/canadalynx
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx
  • Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.
  • Hinterland Who's Who - http://www.hww.ca/en/wildlife/mammals/canada-lynx-1.html
  • https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/species/mammals/lynx/lynx_faq.pdf

 

Photo Credits - Background

Susanne Nilsson - Flickr

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