The lynx is a medium-sized cat characterized by its long ear tufts and short (bobbed) tail with a black tip. It has unusually large paws that act as snow shoes in very deep snow and its thick fur and long legs make it appear larger than it really is.
© Norbert Rosing / National Geographic Stock
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.
Did You Know?
Lynx have excellent eyesight: they can spot a mouse at 250 feet! Also, the black tufts of hair at the tops of their ears serve to enhance their already phenomenal hearing.
Perhaps 1,000 lynx exist in the lower 48 states.
Historically, lynx lived in four geographically distinct areas within the continental United States. These areas included the Northeast, the Great Lakes states, the northern Rocky Mountains/Cascades and the southern Rocky Mountains.
In the United States today, lynx are known to occur only in Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. A recent reintroduction program has reestablished a population in Colorado.
Generally solitary animals, lynx usually hunt and travel alone and are slightly more active at night than by day. Lynx have complex needs for their habitat. They require different forest  types, including young forests with thick vegetation for hunting snowshoe hares and older forests with good cover for their dens.
Mating Season: March and April
Gestation: 63-70 days
Litter Size: Average of 4 kittens.
Kittens stay with their mother for the first year while they learn to hunt.