Love for the Lynx
This story was originally published February 13, 2021 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.
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While the ungulates have already gone through their languages of love the carnivores are just getting started!
It’s a great time to hear the courtship calls from the lynx, arctic fox and red foxes. While the two species of foxes are the same gender (red foxes – males, arctic foxes – females), our lynx group consists of a male and two females and all three lynx will remain in the habitat together this season.
In past years we have separated the male to eliminate breeding potential – an important practice to manage our animal collection and animal numbers. This year however the lynx will be left together to let nature take its course!
Our 3-legged male has never bred before nor has our younger female, who turns 7 this spring, so we do not have any history to give indication of sexual success. Our other female, who is now 13 years old, has successfully reared offspring in her younger days – most recently in 2014. If breeding is successful we could expect kittens in mid – late May. YWP collection growth and stability is a consideration for breeding given the age of our male, also 13 years. Further to that, BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops, a CAZA accredited facility, will also look to add to their population by accepting a litter of siblings. This potential breeding will be an important contribution to lynx genetics and the Species Survival Plan given how unique (completely unrepresented actually), his genetics are among captive populations.
It’s all up to the animals and only time will tell if these individuals are successful.
Lynx at Yukon Wildlife Preserve L to R: 3-legged male circa 2018 and kitten circa 2014.
All Photos credit: Jake Paleczny
Manager of Visitor Services
Lindsay joined the Wildlife Preserve team March 2014. Originally from Ontario, she came to the Yukon in search of new adventures and new career challenges. Lindsay holds a degree in Environmental Studies with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and brings with her a strong passion to share what nature, animals and the environment can teach us.