Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis)

The Canada lynx is the only wild cat with a range that extends beyond the Arctic Circle. Lynx inhabit the entire Yukon with the exception of the arctic coastal plain. They occupy coniferous-deciduous forests of white spruce, lodgepole pine, aspen, and willow.

The Canada lynx has adapted to northern regions by focusing almost exclusively on the snowshoe hare as a source of food, which constitutes 70 to 85% of the lynx’s winter diet. Therefore fluctuations in hare populations cause lynx numbers to rise and fall. When hare populations crash, lynx numbers go through a three to five year low period as it becomes difficult for mature lynx to feed themselves or their young.

Through the coldest darkest part of the year, a lynx roams over it's home range in search of snowshoe hare. When hare can't be found, lynx try to survive on grouse, ptarmigan, and small mammales that are active and accessible in winter.

Long legs and extremely large, well-furred, snowshoe-like feet allow the lynx to move over deep snow with ease. Mature lynx weigh between 10 and 15 kilograms. Females are slightly smaller.

Lynx fur was traditionally used by Yukon First Nations for ceremonial cloaks and robes. A ritual treatment of the carcass ensured that the animal's spirit was content.

Lynx are a curious animal. When crossing roads, they will often reach the tree line then stop and turn around to watch you. If you see a lynx heading into the trees, be sure to take a look as it may not have disappeared completely.