Why do Eurasian Lynxes Change Colour?

Eurasian Lynxes have a unique genetic feature that allows for incredible camouflage with their environment. They can camouflage to their environment through a seasonally colour changing fur coat.


The Eurasian lynx has a wide range of habitat, extending across Europe, central Asia (it is distributed across the entire Tibetan plateau), Siberia and East Asia. In Europe, however, there is now limited connectivity between subpopulations.


The Big Cat Sanctuary’s Eurasian Lynx, Petra has been seen to show a thicker, paler coat in the winter months and a brown or orange coat in the warmer months, which comes in the Spring usually. During the winter time it is common for Eurasian Lynxes to be in snowy climates and greener landscapes in warmer months. Therefore, a changing colour coat is a perfect tool for camouflaging! They do not want to be spotted by other predators and potential prey. Blending into their environment creates a hiding space and an excellent hunting tool.


However, the main threats to the Eurasian lynx are hunting and habitat loss. Although the population has benefitted from the ban on legal international fur trade, illegal hunting still represents a major threat. To help maintain the Eurasian Lynx population, you can donate to The Big Cat Sanctuary or come see Petra in person! By booking a cat encounter at The Big Cat Sanctuary you can meet Petra and hopefully see her beautiful coat change with the seasons.