A lynx is any of four medium-sized wild cats. All are members of the Genus Lynx, but there is considerable confusion about the best way to classify felids at present, and some authorities classify them as part of the genus Felis. The Caracal, despite it is sometimes also called Persian Lynx or African Lynx, does not belong to this genus.
The four species placed in this genus are:
- Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis)
- Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx)
- Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus)
- Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Lynx have short tails and characteristic tufts of black hair on the tip of the ears. They have a ruff under the neck, which has black bars (not very visible), resembling a bow tie. They have large paws padded for walking on snow and long whiskers on the face. The body color varies from light brown to grey; and occasionally, is marked with dark brown spots, especially on the limbs. They range from about 15 kg (33 pounds) to about 30 kg (66 pounds). The Eurasian Lynx is significantly larger than the other species , while the Iberian Lynx is significantly smaller.
Lynx are usually solitary, although a small group of lynx may travel and hunt together. Mating takes place in the late winter and they give birth to 2 to 4 kittens once a year. The young stay with the mother for one more winter; and then, the young adults can live on their own. Lynx will have their dens in crevices or under ledges. They feed on a wide range of animals from Reindeer, Roe Deer, small Red Deer, and Chamois, to smaller, more usual prey: birds, and small mammals, like snowshoe hares, fish, sheep, and goats.
The Hunting of lynxes is illegal in many countries. The Iberian Lynx is critically endangered with extinction and the killing of any individuals has been outlawed since the 1970s in Spain and Portugal. In 2000, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service designated the Canadian Lynx a Threatened species in the lower 48 states.
- Lynx (mythology)
- Wildcat, a small predator native to Europe, the western part of Asia, and Africa
- SOS Lynx: photos, news and information about the Iberian Lynx in English and Portuguese
- Canada Lynx in the Southern Rockies
- The Iberian Lynx The natural history of the Iberian lynx
- The Nature Conservatory's Species Profile: Lynx
- Canada lynx (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service