Canada Lynx

Canadian LynxEar Shape canadian-lynx-in-tree Canadian_lynx                                      Canadian Lynx

Canada Lynx

Lynx canadensis


Species Description

The Canada Lynx is a medium sized cat (80-90cm long) with large paws and a short tail with a black tip. Their coat is greyish in the winter changing to reddish brown in the summer with long black tipped ear tufts, which make them easy to distinguish. It is an elusive and shy species that is mainly active during the night


Normally fairly solitary these big cats are found in high elevation boreal forests with snowshoe hares, which are their main prey, and areas with deep winter snow are the prime habitat for these big cats. Two small populations currently exist in Cape Breton.


  • They have 10-year cyclic populations fluctuations correlating to snowshoe hare populations
  • Snowshoe hares can make up to 97% of their diet
  • Their large paws act like snowshoes in deep winter snow
  • Their teeth are laced in nerves to feel where they are biting the prey
  • Sounds similar to a house cat but much louder

Threats to survival

  • Historically unregulated trapping but now regulated however incidentally caught in traps set for other species
  • Global warming disrupting their habitat and prey therefore changing the snowshoe hare cycle
  • Deforestation
  • Non-native bobcats, coyotes and lynx compete for prey

How YOU Can Help

  • Learn to recognize this species and report sightings
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home to help keep the snow levels high in Cape Breton
  • Advocate sustainable practices

Contacts, Information & Sighting Reports

Contact: NS DNR @ 902 679 6091

Sightings: 1 866 272 3447 or

Information & references:


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