Canada Lynx

Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis)

Canada lynx

Canada lynx./G. and B. Corsi

General: This northern mammal lives in mature evergreen and hardwood forests with rocky ledges, bogs, swamps, and woody debris littering the ground. With their long legs and large furry feet, lynx are adept at hunting in deep snow; their preferred prey is the snowshoe hare, and wildlife biologists recognize that good snowshoe hare habitat is also a critical component of good Canada lynx habitat. In the southern parts of their range, lynx also catch and eat small mammals and birds such as ruffed grouse. Because hares and other potential prey become abundant in young forest and shrublands, lynx benefit from areas of such thick habitat interspersed with more-mature forest where lynx breed. Lynx site their dens in rock crevices and hollow trees, under stumps, or in brush.

Status: Because of trapping and hunting in the past, and ongoing habitat fragmentation, lynx numbers declined over the last century to the point that today the species is considered Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Canada lynx is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in most of the northern states where it is found.

How to Help Canada Lynx: Both protection of mature forests and creation of early successional habitats within those forests are the main recommendations for managing lynx populations. By creating habitat that will allow snowshoe hares to thrive, land managers increase feeding opportunities for lynx.
Both public and private landowners can make young forest habitat. The Young Forest Guide explains how.

Click on the map at left to see a larger image.

Visit a habitat demonstration area within the Canada lynx’s range to increase your chances of seeing this impressive predator, as well as other wildlife that need patches of young forest within extensive areas of northern woodlands.