The Eurasian Lynx - Everything You Need to Know | The Big Cat Sanctuary

A guide to the Eurasian Lynx

Everything you need to know

What is the Eurasian lynx?

The Eurasian lynx, scientifically known as Lynx lynx, is a medium-sized wild cat species native to the forests and mountainous regions of Eurasia. It is the largest lynx species and has a distinctive appearance with its tufted ears, ruff of fur around the face, and short tail with a black tip. This species, once on the brink of extinction throughout Europe, has managed to recover but still remains threatened in some areas.


Where does the Eurasian lynx live?

The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is primarily found in the forested regions of Eurasia. Its range extends across various countries in Europe and Asia. Here are some of the countries where the Eurasian lynx can be found:

  1. Europe: The Eurasian lynx has a significant presence in several European 
  2. countries, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. It also occurs in some parts of Germany, Switzerland, France, and Spain.
  3. Asia: In Asia, the Eurasian lynx can be found in regions such as Russia (including Siberia), Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China. It is worth noting that its distribution in Asia is more limited compared to its extensive presence in Europe.


What does the Eurasian lynx look like?

The Eurasian lynx is a medium-sized wild cat. They can measure up to 90-110 centimeters (35-43 inches) in body length and have a shoulder height of around 60-75 centimeters (24-30 inches). Males can weigh between 18-30 kilograms (40-66 pounds)

The lynx has a dense, thick coat that provides insulation in cold climates. The coloration of the fur can vary, but it typically consists of a mixture of gray to brown and marked with dark spots which provide camouflage in forest habitats

It has a prominent ruff of fur around the face, which resembles a beard. The ears are adorned with long, black tufts of hair, known as “ear tufts”. The tufts are not actual ears but rather tufts of hair on the tips of their ears. The lynx has a relatively short tail, usually measuring around 11-24 centimeters (4-9 inches) in length. The tail is tipped with black fur, which serves as a visual signal when communicating with other lynxes.


What family does the Eurasian lynx belong to?

The Eurasian lynx is a member of the Lynx lineage which falls under the Felidae family. It’s scientific name is Lynx Lynx.


What does the Eurasian lynx eat?

The Eurasian lynx is a strict carnivore, feeding mostly on hoofed mammals (ungulates) including deer. When their natural prey is scarce or difficult to find they will also eat smaller animals including rabbits, foxes and hares.


How long do Eurasian lynx live for?

In the wild they can live for up to 17 years, but in captivity they have been known to live for over 20 years.


How many Eurasian lynx are left in the wild?

There are approximately 50,000 Eurasian lynx left in the wild.


Is the Eurasian lynx endangered?

Although the Eurasian lynx has struggled with declining populations in the past they are currently classified as a least concern species on the IUCN red list. In fact, between 1930 and 1950 the population fell as low as around 700 in Europe! Since the ban on illegal fur trade the population has been able to grow.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any threats to the species. Hunting and habitat loss continue to pose a danger to the Eurasian lynx despite the stabilising of the population.


Do the Eurasian lynx have any predators?

The Eurasian lynx is a top predator in its ecosystem, and as such, it does not have many natural predators that pose a significant threat to its population. However, there are a few rare instances where the lynx may face predation or threats from other animals.

In some rare cases, larger predators such as brown bears and gray wolves may come into conflict with the Eurasian lynx. Interactions can occur over shared prey or territorial disputes. However, such encounters are infrequent, and the lynx is generally capable of avoiding or defending itself against these predators.


How many types of lynx are there?

There are four types of Lynx: the Canadian lynx, the Bobcat, the Iberian lynx and the Eurasian lynx.


What is the natural habitat of the Eurasian lynx?

The specific habitats where the Eurasian lynx thrives include boreal forests, taiga, mixed woodlands, and mountainous regions. These cats require a combination of dense cover for stalking and an adequate prey population to sustain their presence.As they have such a wide range the habitat will change between sub-populations. For some, the habitat can be a boreal forest, for others it could be a rocky-steppe or a mixed forest-steppe.


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