Common Name: Canada Lynx

Scientific Name: Lynx canadensis

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: felidae

Height: Head and Body: 32 - 40 inches, Tail: 4 - 8 inches

Weight:   22-44 lbs.

Lifespan:  10-15 Years


  • Tufts on ears help to channel sound, providing exceptional hearing.  Eyesight is also so strong that a lynx can spot a mouse 250 feet away.


  • The lynx is one half of a classic predator-prey relationship, feeding almost exclusively on snowshoe hare.  They are so dependant on this prey that their populations fluctuate whenever showshoe hare numbers drop.  They will also eat mice, squirrels, and birds.


  • The Canada Lynx is very stealthy.  As nighttime hunters, they are rarely seen by humans.


  • Their large paws are covered in fur and hit the ground with a spreading motion that makes them function as natural snowshoes.


  • Prey are normally stalked and then pounced upon, although some lynx will wait in ambush for hours.


  • Major threats to the Canada Lynx are habitat loss due to fire suppression and trapping.  Snowmoboling near lynx habitat is an increasing threat.  Other species such as bobcats and coyotes also compete for lynx resources.


  • Lynx are usually solitary animals, but will occasionally travel together in small groups.


  • In the spring, lynx may give birth to 2-6 kittens after a gestation period of about 70 days.  The young will stay with the mother for around 9 months so she can look after them during their first winter.




Currently at ZooMontana:

Fierca - Born spring 2011,  Current Education Animal Ambassador.



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