Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis)
This long-legged member of the cat family is about half the length of the cougar and weighs 8 to 14 kilograms (18 to 31
Distinguishing traits include:
Short tail with a black tip
Long dense fur that is frosted-grey in colour with a few dark spots
Overall stance, which is somewhat higher at the rump than at the shoulders
In Alberta, the lynx is common in mixedwood, montane and foothill life zones.
Lynx prefer forest with a thick undercover of shrubs and deadfall.
The den is usually a rock cavity hidden in dense spruce woods.
The lynx is highly dependent on the snowshoe hare for food. Lynx populations tend to cycle over approximately 10-year periods
from low to high to low numbers. These cycles roughly follow similar cyclic changes in the snowshoe hare population.
When hares are scarce, lynx may be forced to travel great distances in search of alternative foods. At this time they may
take the following food:
Lambs of mountain sheep
Mating takes place in March
Three to four kittens are born in the lynx den in May.
Food is brought to the den until the kittens are two to three months old, when they join their parents in hunts.
The lynx is classified as Secure in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:
Specific season information is provided in the current Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations. To view the guide
online or to order a printed copy, visit the My Wild Alberta website at:
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Updated: Jun 07, 2010