Government of New Brunswick
CanadaLynx

Regionally endangered

  • Large paws help it move easily on snow.
 

Description

The Canada lynx is a medium-sized cat with grey-brown fur. Its long black legs give it and inclined posture. It is distinguished from the bobcat by the long pointed tufts on its ears, an entirely dark-tipped tail, and fewer spots on its legs and belly. This species has particularly large paws, allowing it to move easily on deep snow in order to hunt its primary prey, the snowshoe hare. The height of the breeding season is from mid-March to the beginning of April, with a gestation period of nine weeks. Litter sizes are usually two or three – and can sometimes be up to five kittens. They stay with their mother for the first winter only, after which they become solitary.

 

 

Habitat

The Canada lynx is commonly associated with extensive boreal forests. It chooses areas that are beneficial to snowshoe hare, usually in forests where there is dense vegetation and shrubbery. Numerous studies have shown that lynx populations are influenced by that of the snowshoe hare. As hare populations become larger or smaller, so do the lynx populations. This occurs because the amount of food available to lynx influences their reproductive success and the survival of kittens and adults.

 

 

Distribution

The population size and trends for the lynx population in New Brunswick is poorly understood. The data we do have indicate that the lynx may occur throughout the province, but that it is more common in northern New Brunswick. New Brunswick is near the southern limit of its distribution. It is found throughout the majority of forested areas of northern Canada, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, including the western part of the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. The southern portion of its distribution includes a small part of the United States, including parts of the Rocky Mountains, the Midwest and New England.