Eurasian Lynx

Common Name(s): European Lynx, Siberian Lynx
American Scientific Name: Lynx Lynx
Weight: 30-48 pounds
Head/Body: 31 – 51 inches
Tail: 4 to 9 inches
Gestation: ~68 to 72 days
Status: Stable (vulnerable in some areas)

The Eurasian lynx is nearly twice as large as the Canadian Lynx, but has similar body proportions. Both cats have long legs, large paws, short tails, and triangular ears tipped with tufts of black hairs, but the Eurasian lynx is usually marked with large well-defined dark spots. Both males and females often have a ruff or collar of long hair around their neck and under their chin. The Eurasian lynx can weigh as much as 84 pounds, but more usually males average 44 pounds,while females weigh about 37 pounds. They stand 23 – 27 inches at the shoulder, and head and body length is 31 – 51 inches, with a tail measuring 4 to 6 inches.

As the largest lynx species, Eurasian Lynx prey on wild ungulates but will eat smaller animals when deer are scarce. Unlike the Canada Lynx and Iberian Lynx, this cat does not rely on hares, and thus is not dependent on fluctuating rabbit populations. They have been seen to cache carcasses in trees, especially in areas where there are other carnivore competitors. Though rabbits and hares form the major part of their diet, they also eat mice, birds, and deer.

The lynx prefers a forested area with plenty of dense undergrowth and cover. However, it is an adaptable cat and can live in rocky areas, open forests, and even scrub and brushy areas. The Eurasian lynx has recently been reintroduced into parts of Germany, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. It now roams over an area that includes western Europe, USSR, Scandinavia, Asia Minor, Iran, and Iraq. To the east, it ranges through Mongolia, Manchuria and the mountainous areas of Central Asia.

Mating occurs in the early spring and one to five young are born after a gestation period of about ten weeks. The young continue to nurse for as long as five months but begin to eat solid food when they are a month to six weeks old. Kittens remain with their mother until she mates again in the winter, but siblings may stay together after they leave their mother.

Lynx are solitary, but the ranges of females may overlap to some extent. Lynx can swim well and may climb trees to catch prey.