Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Canada lynx (Photo courtesy of Darlene Stack)

Canada lynx (Photo courtesy of Darlene Stack)

Canada lynx

Where does this species live?

The Canada lynx can be found throughout the boreal forest of Canada and the U.S. (Alaska), and its distribution stretches south of the Canadian border through the Rocky Mountains in the west and also in states surrounding the Great Lakes and northern New England region to the east.

What do they look like?

These seldom seen creatures are smaller in comparison to cougars and slightly larger than bobcats.

Defining characteristics of the Canada lynx are the long tufts of fur on the ears, longer back legs than the bobcat. Their large paws are covered in thick, coarse hair, with toes that spread out and function much like snowshoes on snow.

These large paws allow the species to live in a more northerly habitat than the bobcat, allowing it to hunt in deep snow, which reduces competition for food. Since the Canada lynx cannot run fast, it must stalk and ambush its prey at close proximity.

What is their conservation status?

Populations are lowest in its U.S. distribution and in the Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where the Canadian lynx is listed as critically imperiled (S1) based on NatureServe’s provincial designation. Their status throughout the rest of Canada is listed as secure (S5) or apparently secure (S4) (NatureServe Online Species Database 2015). For more information on the conservation status of Canada Lynx in your area or U.S. states you can visit the NatureServe Exlporer website.

What is NCC doing to protect habitat for this species?

One of the ways the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is addressing the habitat needs for Lynx is through the completion of a Natural Area Conservation Plan (NACP) for the Restigouche watershed in northern New Brunswick and Quebec. NACPs are designed to highlight critical ecosystems and species of a particular area and outline actions that are needed to protect the flora and fauna that live there.

The Restigouche watershed is a natural corridor that lies in the middle of the Appalachian Mountain Range in northern New Brunswick, adjoining Quebec and separated by the Restigouche River. This area sprawls over more than 6,000 square kilometres and is a critical corridor for species such as Canada lynx.

Conservation of habitat in the Restigouche Corridor Natural Area will help NCC protect the critical corridors for wide-ranging mammals such as Canada lynx.

For more information on Canada lynx, please visit:

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