Tufts on their 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 dependent on this prey that their populations fluctuate whenever snowshoe hare numbers drop. They will also eat mice, squirrels, and birds. Prey are normally stalked and then pounced upon, although some lynx will wait in ambush for hours. Their large paws are covered in fur and hit the ground with a spreading motion that makes them function as natural snowshoes. Major threats to the Canada Lynx are habitat loss due to fire suppression and trapping. Snowmobiling 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.
Click HERE for a Canada Lynx Activity Sheet!
Our Current Residents
Fierca, Female - Born May 1, 2011
Fierca came to ZooMontana in 2014. She was raised by private individuals for use in educational school programs. She grew up being around groups of people and other animals, so she is very used to being in program settings. When her owners decided to no longer present these programs and moved out of state, Fierca came to ZooMontana to join our Animal Ambassador program. Through training, she got accustomed to being on a collar and leash and going on walks around the zoo with her trainers. She does an excellent job representing her species on many school programs, both at the zoo and within the community year round.
Opi, Male - Born May 23, 2009
Opi also came to ZooMontana in 2014, but from Seneca Park Zoo in New York. Opi's name is short for Optimus Prime. He came to ZooMontana with this name and we're not quite sure why he was given it, but it sure is fun! He is typically more low key and calmer than Fierca, but he's still pretty playful. Sometimes, you can see Fierca and him playing together, running and jumping through their habitat.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Felidae
- Genus: Lynx
- Species: Lynx canadensis
- Carnivore: eats meat such as mice, squirrels, and birds but primarily snowshoe hares
- Population: threatened
- Habitat: Boreal Forest
- Nocturnal Hunter: active during the night