Lynx (Lynx lynx)

There are four species of Lynx: Bobcat, Canada Lynx, Siberian (Eurasian) Lynx and Iberian (Spanish) Lynx.

The Siberian lynx is usually yellowish brown to a reddish grey, with black spots and black markings on their face. They possess large ruffs of hair on their face, short stubby tail with a black tip, and long black tufts of hairs projecting from the tips of their pointed ears.


  • Height: 26-30 inches
  • Length: 32-51 inches
  • Weight: 40-77 lbs


  • About 13 years in the wild
  • Up to 25 years in captivity


  • Mating Season: February-April (females are receptive for only 3 days during this time.
  • Gestation: 9-10 weeks
  • Litter Size: 1-4 kittens
  • Kitten Rearing: Lynx kittens open their eyes at 10-17 days old and walk by the time they are 3-4 weeks old. They are weaned when they are about 3-5 months old, and are usually independent of their mother at 10 months.


The Siberian lynx inhabits the forests of scrublands of western Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Iran, Iraq and Asia minor. They used to be widespread throughout the entire continent of Europe, and efforts are being made to reintroduce the lynx in parts of its former range, such as France, Switzerland and Italy.


Primarily on small ungulates such as roe deer, chamois, musk deer and reindeer. Occasionally they will feed on young red deer, moose and wild boar. Lynx are specialized hunters and can survive only where there are adequate snowshoe hare populations. Lynx are also known to eat mice, voles, grouse, ptarmigan and red squirrel.


The lynx prefers rocky and forested areas. They are solitary, nocturnal animals and agile predators. They mark their territories with urine, feces and excretions from glands in their paws and face. The home ranges of the males are significantly larger than the females and will encompass the home ranges of 1-2 females. Male territories may slightly overlap other males, but female territories never overlap.


As a species, the Siberian lynx is not endangered, although in some parts of its range they are very rare. The lynx population has declined due to habitat loss and a reduction in their ungulate prey.

IUCN: Threatened CITES: Appendix II

Lynx lynx lynx – Scandinavia, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Western Serbia, Caucasus, Siberia, Mongolia, Northern China, Korea
Lynx lynx isabellinus – Central Asia
Lynx lynx kozlovi – Central Siberia
Lynx lynx sardiniae – Sardinia (extinct)
Lynx lynx stroganovi – Central Siberia


The lynx has been hunted for its fur in most of its range, especially so in Russia. In addition to being hunted for fur, sport and in defense of livestock, they fall victim to rabies, feline panleukopaenia virus and sarcoptic mange. Even with all the pressure from humans and nature, hunting bans all throughout their range have allowed the lynx to increase in numbers.

Interesting Facts

  • The Siberian lynx is about twice the size of the Canada lynx.
  • The lynx’s feet are protected with thick fur to keep their feet warm as they walk on the cold ground, as well as acting as snowshoes that support the cat’s weight in the snow.
  • The tufts on the lynx’s ears are longer than those on a bobcat.
  • The Siberian lynx prefers ungulates during the winter because of their vulnerability in the snow.
  • All species of lynx also have white fur on their chests, bellies and on the insides of their legs, which are extensions of the chest and belly fur.
  • The lynx is considered a national animal in the Republic of Macedonia and Romania and is displayed on the reverse of the Macedonian 5 denar coin.
  • Lynx have excellent eyesight: they can spot a mouse at 250 feet!

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~Laurence Lee

Primary Sources:
Defenders of Wildlife and Wikipedia