About the lynx

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Lynx lynx

Order: Carnivores - Carnivora 

Family: Cat - Felidae

Genus: Lynx

Habitat areas:

In Russia, the lynx is found in the deep mature coniferous forests from the western borders up to Kamchatka and Sakhalin, where it has recently come. The lynx is found also in the Carpathians, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Everywhere it is small in number.

Countries of the habitat:

Lynx is found in Russia, Scandinavia, Finland, parts of Poland and the Czech Republic as well as in Spain.


The body length of males is 76-106 cm and of females a few (3-6) inches less. Tail - from 10 to 20 centimeters. Weight of an adult animal - 16-20, rarely - up to 30 kg.


Lynx is a medium-sized animal with a relatively short torso, highly elevated on legs, round head and short, as if "kutsim" tail. Ears are small, stand-topped with long tassels, visible "tanks"on the cheeks. Legs are relatively thick, at the same time slender with large rounded paws and sharp retractable claws.

Soft, long and thick winter fur of the lynx in various areas of their areal has different colors: ash-blue, pale smoky gray-brown, and red. Almost always fur is dotted with dark spots, large on the back and sides, small on arms and legs. On the belly hair is especially long and soft, but not thick and almost always pure white with rare specks. Summer fur of the lynx is rougher and shorter, has a more vivid coloring than the winter fur. In the winter paws are well furred. No other cat is adapted so well to the snow and cold, like the lynx.

Behavior and lifestyle 

The lynx is very agile: it is not only a great climber on the trees and rocks, but also a fast runner, does 3.5-4 meters jumping, makes long passages, a good swimmer.

The lynx is primarily sedentary, but during intensely cold weather with deep snow, when it becomes not only very cold, but there is also no food, the lynx embarks on a long journey, and often gets into the steppe and tundra. It can go up to 30 km in 24 hours.

Meeting with another lynx it performs a ritual greeting – they sniff each other's noses, they stand in front of each other and start butting heads, they do it with such strengh that the sound of a boneclash is heard. The lynx expresses friendly affection through mutual licking of the fur.


The lynx – is a "purebred" predator, it eats all that moves and what is available for it. Among objects of the lynx's hunting are hares, roe deer, musk deer, chamois, tours, various birds (primarily grouse and grouse), rodents, and young deer, wild boars, elks. Hunting in deep snow and frozen snow, the lynx overcomes major adult animals. On occasion it catches squirrels, martens, sables, speakers, raccoon dogs. However, it is assumed that the basis of the diet of the lynx are hares and medium-sized ungulates.

Constitution of the lynx (her narrow rib cage) is not suited to long runs so its favorite method of hunting – to lie in wait for a victim in the field of concentration (watering, solonetzes). For the same reason any of the predators, including dogs, easily catches the lynx, the only salvation for which is to rapidly climb a tree. That is why in the snow-free period the lynx prefers to rest on the trees.

Wolves are actively and purposefully pursue lynxes, so there are no lynxes where there are many wolves. Wolves are also lynxes' major food competitors. In the conventional competition between these types, the lynx loses in terms of reproduction and their ability to adapt to environmental changes. According to researchers the lynx purposefully pursues foxes.


Mating season of the lynx starts at the end of February and lasts for a month. The female usually followed by a couple of males who are constantly fighting each other. Being generally a silent animal, during the rut the lynx purrs and meows loudly and sharply, and under strong excitation - frantically screams. Females meow in a deep voice, males – purr muffly. Their generic den is primitive, but rather cover, under the roots of a tree or in a rock crevice, at least - in dupoe tree. Pregnancy lasts 63-70 days.

In May, 2-3 cubs appear, more rarely - one or four. They are helpless, blind and deaf, and weigh only a quarter or a third of a kilogram. The eyes open in 16-17 days. When they reach one month, they begin to take meat food, nevertheless breast milk feeding last for another four months. 

The hunting instinct awakens at an early age. Cub of forty days old, already try to sneak up on "prey" and attack it. Starting to go out of the den with their mother, cubs get acquainted with the complicated life of the forest. Adults bring them live mice, voles, hares, patiently teach them how to haunt them, touchingly and selflesslyprotecting cubs from all adversity.

The male helps the mother to feed and nurture the offspring. Cubs grow rapidly, in October it is difficult to distinguish them from their parents and the family begins to hunt together. Throughout the winter cubs stay together, breaking up for the new mating season. At the age of one cubs move on to independent living.

Females reach sexual maturity at 21 months, males - in 33 months.


There were cases when the lynx lived in captivity for more than 20 years. In nature, life expectancy is less than 10-15 years.

Territory of the habitat:


Despite its widespread, it is a vulnerable species with a decreasing population.

The lynx habitat is shrinking and with the habitat destruction and direct persecution of the species its number decreases. It was extirpated as a pest of livestock, "destroyer" of the game and just as valuable fur-bearing animals.

Measures to increase the number of the lynx should be recognized: the preservation of optimal habitat and prey (musk deer, roe deer and hare), reduction of the wolf, but first and foremost the fight against poaching musk deer loops, which also gets the lynx.