One of the four members of the lynx genus, the Canadian Lynx is an inhabitant mainly of Canada and Alaska, with some individuals recorded in certain parts of northern United States. A resident largely of snowy mountainous areas, it is adapted physically to survive in cold weathers. Though smaller than the Eurasian Lynx, the Canadian Lynx is a formidable predator with a size twice as big as the domestic cat. Males are larger, with an average weight of twenty five pounds and length nearing three feet.
A beautiful cat, the coat of the Canadian Lynx is thick and silvery brown with darkish markings that are often hard to spot in the dense fur. Neck is covered with a thick ruff of hair and ears, as with other lynx species, are tipped by long hair tufts. Tail is short like that of the Bobcat, though it is completely black - unlike that of the Bobcat whose tail is black on the upper and white on the lower surface. Hind legs are longer and paws are broad, aiding the cat to walk on snow.
A secretive and largely solitary feline, the Canadian Lynx is a diurnal hunter. A specialized predator in large parts of its range - the cat preys mostly on the snowshoe hare. In fact its population corresponds directly to the rise and fall of the hare population in its range. Other mid-sized animals are also taken including birds, small ungulates and rodents and scavenging is often observed in winter on left over deer and caribou carcasses.
Currently the Canadian Lynx is classified into three subspecies across its geographical distribution:
Lynx Canadensis Canadensis
Lynx Canadensis Mollipilosus
Lynx Canadensis Subsolanus
Average lifespan of this cat is around fifteen years. After a gestation period of two months, mother gives birth to up to eight kittens - the number correlating to the abundance of prey animals at that point in time. The young stay with the mother until they can fend for themselves. Sexual maturity is reached at nearly two years.
The lynx is easily trapped and mainly hunted for its fur. It also suffers indirectly at the hand of hunters since its main prey animal - the rabbit - is widely killed for sport. Though not critically endangered yet, the loss of prey and habitat has led to the decline of the beautiful cat in many parts of its former range.
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