North American Lynx North American Lynx
Lynx canadensis

Adult North American lynx measure 29-41 inches in length and weigh 11-40 pounds.

The tawny brown coat of the lynx is mostly free of spots or barring. The black tipped stubby tail, dark ear tufts, and ruffed cheeks are the most defining characteristics of the lynx. The lynx's coloration helps it to blend into its habitat.

This member of the cat family has long fur, long legs and large feet to help it survive in its snowy habitat (Matthews, Dan. Cascade Olympic Natural History. 1988. InterPacific Printing Corporation. p.351). Its furred feet aid the lynx in swimming and help it to move almost silently as it stalks its prey.

These cats are mostly active during dusk and dawn; they rest and hide by day in the tree cover. Lynx may rest in trees and pounce on prey from this position.

Lynx require dry forests where lodgepole pine is the dominant tree species. These areas are more typical of the east slopes of the Cascades. Lynx depend almost exclusively on snowshoe hare as a prey base, but the cat will prey on other mammals and scrounge carrion.

Habitat destruction, trapping, hunting, and reduction of prey base are reasons that have led to the concern about the lynx population.