Common Lynx - description, habitat, lifestyle


The lynx really looks like a very big cat, differing only in a short tail and tassels on the tips of the ears. Its weight usually does not exceed 25 kg, and the body length can be from 75 to 130 cm. The body is dense with a small round head. The muzzle is framed by elongated, hard wool, similar to sideburns. The fur is very thick, especially in winter, when the undercoat appears. The most common animals with a reddish-gray color and dark spots randomly located throughout the body. But the color of the coat depends on the species and on where the lynx lives, in what zone, therefore there may be another shade.

Limbs in their structure are somewhat different from the cat. The hind legs of the lynx are longer than the front and have only 4 fingers. In winter, the pads are overgrown with thick hair, which allows the animal to easily move through the snow without falling through the snowdrifts. The paws seem to be too wide for such a small beast, but it is such a structure that helps the predator to hunt successfully for food. Beautiful tassels on the ears serve as an antenna, thanks to which the lynx perfectly hears the quietest sounds. This animal perfectly jumps (up to 4 meters in length), climbs trees and runs very fast. Like all members of the cat family, it is distinguished by strength and extraordinary agility.


The lynx genus has several species: Pyrenean, Canadian, red, Eurasian common. The smallest is the red-haired lynx that lives in North America. Its height is not more than 35 cm at the withers. The largest representative of this genus is the common Eurasian lynx, which inhabits almost the entire territory of Russia, including the Arctic, and can be found in completely impassable areas of Siberia. Deaf forest, young growth thickets - these are the places where lynx live most often.

The Canadian lynx, which is the closest relative of the Eurasian one, is significantly inferior in size. This North American cat inhabits almost the entire territory of Canada and the northern American states, preferring to settle in coniferous forests, where there is a dense underbrush.

A special type is the bright-blooded Pyrenean lynx. She is on the verge of extinction. Only in Portugal and in the south of Spain are these animals occasionally still found. Deforestation has led to the fact that the territory inhabited by lynx, is becoming smaller. In addition, because of the beautiful fur of bright leopard colors, hunters often shoot these animals.


Lynx is found on the territory of almost all European countries, as well as in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Greece, China, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In the Americas, the largest numbers of these predators are observed in the southeastern United States, Canada and Mexico.

In Russia, the largest population of lynx is noted in the taiga regions and in the zone of mixed forests. More recently, animals settled in Kamchatka. Our country is huge, so the areas where the lynx lives in Russia can be at a very remote distance from each other. As a result, animals of the same species can be very different not only in size, but also in color, degree of spotting.

Thickets of young stock are the favorite place for the lynx - it is most convenient to build a den there. Basically, this predator chooses to live any forests (coniferous, mixed, mountain) where the bear and elk live. Lynx can be found in the forest tundra, where there are many shrubs, other stunted vegetation, and even beyond the Arctic Circle.

What feeds the lynx

This is a predator, respectively, it prefers fresh meat, which requires at least 2-3 kg per day. The object of hunting are a variety of animals - from vole mice to roe deer and reindeer. Food depends on habitat. But the main prey of the lynx is usually the hare. It is from its numbers in the region where lynx live, and their well-being depends. One prey caught a hare enough for 4 days. As a rule, it preys on them mainly in the winter, when the choice of food is small. In the taiga prey of this dexterous beast often become wild boars. The lynx is able to deftly and imperceptibly get close to the victim and kill it with one blow of its powerful paw. In addition, the huge fangs of a predator are similar to the fangs of a leopard or a leopard. And among the birds a lot of victims fall into these fangs. Usually it is black grouse, wood-grouse and hazel grouse.


Lynx is a solitary animal. During her life, she rarely makes any sounds. A sharp cry of a lynx, similar to a cat, can be heard only during the rut, which usually happens in February. This animal is extremely cautious. The lynx spends the whole day in its lair, which is in deep more often. Late in the evening she goes hunting. It leads a sedentary lifestyle and only when food resources in the habitat end, migrates to another territory. During the day it can cover a distance of up to 30 km.

You can find a lot of information about lynx - what feeds on, where it lives, but its unusual habits also deserve attention. For example, this animal eats only fresh meat, scorching with carrion. It never returns to the remains of prey, although it buries them in the ground. And it does this very carelessly, and the foxes and wolverines walking in its wake often use the remnants of the feast.

Each individual has its own territory for hunting. Lynx is different bloodthirsty. She almost always hunts and often kills animals much more than she can eat. Lynx has a particular dislike for foxes, which is caused by food competition. But killing a fox, eating it will never be. Hunting for lynx usually ends in luck. Waiting for her prey on a tree, she rushes at her with lightning. Thanks to the developed hind limbs, the lynx can catch even birds soaring from the ground.

When there is not enough food in the forest, the predator can visit the nearest villages and farms. There it’s easy for him to drag off a chicken or even a lamb.


During the mating season, the female is accompanied by several males, who constantly conflict with each other. Pregnancy lasts about 2 months. Approximately 5 hours before giving birth, the lynx begins to make a lair. Usually makes it at height - in hollows of trees or in crevices of rocks. Cubs are born blind at the end of April - early May, weighing up to 300 grams and open their eyes only two weeks later.

The mother feeds them with her milk for a month, then starts bringing babies mice, rabbits. At the age of 3 months, the young already follow the mother, and 2 months later they themselves begin to acquire the first hunting skills. When they are one year old, the mother drives away the lynx from themselves, they begin an independent life. At one and a half years, the females become sexually mature, the males mature one year later. The life span of a lynx averages 15–20 years.

Despite the fact that there are not so many places on the planet where the lynx does not live in the wild, the population of this animal is declining. The reason is the destruction of the natural habitat and the excessive hunting of these beautiful animals. In some European countries, they have almost been exterminated.


The lynx is small in comparison with other members of the family, but is the largest among other species of lynx. The weight of a large male can reach 36 kg, individuals of medium size have a mass of 20-25 kg. The length (excluding the tail) ranges from 70 to 130 cm. The height of most animals is no more than 70 cm. Males are stronger and larger than females.

The body of animals is short, dense. The head has a rounded shape, the muzzle is shortened with large eyes wide apart. The tail is short with a black tip, it seems slightly chopped off, its length rarely exceeds 35 centimeters. Such size and shape of the tail helps the animal to cleverly climb trees, using it as a balance weight.

Lynx hair is very soft and thick, especially after autumn shedding. Wool growing in the spring, shorter and less dense, the pattern of the pile is much clearer, more contrast.

Animal color can be red, yellow or gray. Depending on the habitat, patterns on animal hair can be striped and spotty (spots and rosettes of various sizes). There are representatives with a solid color. On the neck, abdomen, ears and paws, the patterned color is less pronounced. On the cheeks, as well as on the belly, the pile is longer and thin, resembling sideburns. At the tips of the ears, lynxes have special tassels that allow them to pick up sound waves that are not accessible to other mammals. Thus, these brushes are just the same as a direction finder. If they are cut off, the rumor is immediately visibly dulled.

The anatomical structure of the paws is somewhat different from the structure of other members of the family. The forelimbs are noticeably longer than the hind ones and there are 5 fingers on the trot, and 4 on the hind limbs. But the footprint of the front, like the hind legs, will still have only four fingers, since the fifth finger is above the others and does not touch the snow or the ground when walking.

By the winter, the paw pads are overgrown with thick, stiff fur, so that the lynx quickly and easily overcome the snow drifts and move, without hurting the sole, over the ice crust.

Behavior, lifestyle

The trajectory of the lynx is winding. If the snow drifts are not deep, the beast puts its paws so that the prints from the back are in front of the front ones. If the depth of the snow is significant, it moves, placing the hind limbs in traces from the front. If masking is necessary, the lynx, naturally, makes a route through stumps and trees.

Cats hunt alone. Females with brood extract food together. These predators prefer a sedentary lifestyle and leave their territories only in case of a depletion of food resources. The area of ​​possession of a single predator is sometimes 70 square kilometers. Animals periodically make their rounds, which often takes up to two weeks. During the day the lynx can go 8 km in search of prey.

Species of lynx vulgaris

Depending on the habitat, several subspecies of predators are identified:

  1. East Siberian (Yakut) lynx. At the beginning of the twentieth century, this subspecies independently settled in the southern territories of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Yakut lynx is the largest of the ordinary. Their fur is fluffy and soft with a pronounced spotting. With an abundance of food supply, animals are sedentary in Yakutia. In the case of a decrease in the number of game, the animals migrate to richer food areas. 80% of the lynx's diet is hare, the rest is for feathered and large horned animals.
  2. Central Asian (Pale) Lynx. Representatives of this subspecies live in the highlands of Kazakhstan and central Asia. The color of these animals is predominantly monochromatic and light. The spots are mild on the limbs and back.
  3. Caucasian lynx. Predators are medium in size compared to other representatives of the species. They have a characteristic chestnut or auburn chestnut color with bright spotting.

Places of residence of ordinary lynx

Until the end of the XIX century, these animals inhabited the forests of Central and Western Europe. Due to the popularity of lynx furs and deforestation by the beginning of the 20th century, they were exterminated in Germany, Switzerland and France. Since the 70s of the last century, thanks to the activities of defenders of wildlife, this type of cat has been re-populated in some countries.

Today, the lynx ordinary is listed in the Red Book. Populations of predators, numbering from 1000 to 2500 individuals, inhabit the forests of Sweden, Poland, Norway and Finland.

In the states of the Balkan Peninsula (Macedonia, Greece, Albania), the number of Eurasian lynxes has declined over the past 20 years. What is directly related to human activity. Their number in these countries is less than 100 individuals.

Most habitats of the common lynx are in Russia, mainly in the regions of Siberia. There are animals on the western borders of the country to Kamchatka, Sakhalin, as well as in the Caucasus.

Lynxes prefer mixed and coniferous forests on rocky mountain landscapes. They settle in the forest-tundra and in those areas where low-growing shrubs grow. To raise offspring go deep into the forest, where vegetation is thicker and denser.

The enemies of the lynx, in addition to humans, are wolves. Lynx can cope with one wolf, but the pack will not overcome. Therefore, in the territory where wolves live, lynx prefer not to linger. If the number of wolves is reduced due to the extermination of them by man, then their number in the same area increases. In some areas of Russia, individuals were shot, as it was believed that the predator destroys a lot of game of value (for example, roe deer, black grouse, hares). But given that the rate of reproduction, and, consequently, the increase in the number of animals eaten by lynx is much higher than that of predators, the harm from hunting is in great doubt.

Common lynx diet

Lynx, like all cats, eat animal food. Daily prey of these predators - lemmings, voles, hares and some birds. Sometimes young individuals of elks and wild boars become victims. Lynxes also hunt larger animals: deer, roe deer, musk deer, seren. If lynx hunting grounds are located near human settlements, then often livestock and poultry become its prey.

Lynxes begin hunting at the end of the night or in the early morning, when the terrain is not yet sufficiently illuminated by the sun. The predator carefully and patiently tracks down the victim, and then attacks, making 2-3 sharp jumps up to 3 meters long. If the prey escapes, then it follows about another 80 meters, in case of failure, it retreats. The lynx does not jump to the victim from a branch or trunk of a tree, but looks out for it from a height. The average daily ration of meat is about 3 kg, in which case the lynx will not feel hunger. After a long hunger strike, the beast can eat six kilograms of meat.

The lynx never hunts for good, that is full. The animal buries the remains of carcass in snow or sprinkles it with earth, but it is not so neat that other predatory animals easily find a “cache”. Lynx tracks are often tied to foxes and wolverines. The latter can sometimes discourage caught prey and drive away the lynx. With foxes, the situation is different: foxes make up the trotting competition in the food chain, in addition, they are much weaker. A fox seen in the lynx hunting grounds will most likely be killed by the “mistress”. At the same time, these predators never eat foxes.

On its hunting routes, the lynx leaves traces in the form of a scratched tree bark, as a kind of signal that the territory is occupied.

Lynx description

The lynx is a relatively small animal that leads a predatory lifestyle. The body length of adult sexually mature individuals is able to reach 130 centimeters or more. Females are less massive than males. The common lynx can gain weight about 25 kilograms.

Representatives of the species have a muscular, knocked torso. These cats have a rounded small head, which adorn the ears with characteristic tassels at the endings. On the cheeks is concentrated thick wool, which resembles whiskers. The eyes of the animal are wide and expressive. Lynx have a short tail. Its length can be about 20 centimeters.

The extremely thick, soft fur of the animal contains a dense undercoat. The longest hairs are in the abdomen. Molting in the species is observed several times a year. Wool, which changes in the autumn period, has a more fluffy character than fur, which was formed in winter.

The lynx is a cat that has long, perfectly developed hind legs and more massive front ones. The hind limbs contain four fingers. Front possess five. With the onset of winter, the sole of the paws is covered with thick wool. Such a change allows the animal to better keep warm while moving through deep snow.

Continuing the description of the lynx, it is worth saying a few words about the color of the animal. Hue and color may differ slightly, based on habitat. Often the wool of such predators has a grayish-reddish tint. There are lynx with brown color of fur, in the structure of which characteristic dark spots are distinguished.


The common lynx is a northern species of carnivorous feline. In Scandinavia, representatives of the species inhabit large areas, up to the Arctic Circle. A few centuries ago, the animal was widespread throughout Europe. However, in the middle of the last century, the predator was almost completely destroyed. Nowadays, attempts are being made to restore past populations in protected areas.

Where do lynx live in Russia? In domestic latitudes, the predator can be seen in a wooded area remote from civilization. Representatives of the species are distributed in the areas from Sakhalin to Kamchatka. In the territory of neighboring states, the lynx is found in the Carpathians, the mountainous regions of Central Asia, and in the Caucasus.

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Lynx: habits and lifestyle

Mature individuals lead a solitary life. Each predator controls an area of ​​about 250 km 2. Lynx periodically bypasses their possessions. The animal leaves the inhabited area only if there is a danger to life and a significant shortage of food.

Living space lynx prefer to mark the urine. These predators are extremely jealous of attempts to encroach on the inhabited territories. Violators of borders are often subject to serious weeding. However, this behavior applies mainly to females. Males rarely pay attention to uninvited guests.

Lynx is a cat that prefers to stay away from humans. When meeting people, the predator tries to silently leave the danger zone. However, in periods when there is a shortage of prey, individual predators decide to enter settlements. The most aggressive and hungry representatives of the species are able to attack dogs and cats, to hunt poultry. If it is necessary to protect their own lives, such individuals can inflict quite substantial injuries on people.

Natural enemies

The main enemies of lynx in the habitat are wolves. To this day, it is not known why these predators show increased aggression towards these cats. They probably have to taste the tender, nourishing meat of such animals. Often, the lynx manages to save life by climbing tree branches. Occasionally they become prey of wolves, which gather in large flocks.

Unfortunately, the decisive role in reducing the lynx population is played by human activity. People are rapidly reducing the number of these beautiful animals. Perhaps that is why it is extremely rare to see such predators. After all, seeing a person, they seek to immediately climb a tree or hide in dense forest.

Population status

Consider the status of the lynx population in selected countries. At one time, such animals were massively settled in a wooded area in Germany. However, by 1850, representatives of the species were completely exterminated by hunters in pursuit of valuable fur and meat, which were considered a delicacy. Where do lynx live in this country today? In the 90s of the last century, such predators were re-populated in several reserves. Nowadays, the largest populations are concentrated in the German national parks "Harz" and "Bavarian Forest".

The common lynx was also exterminated in France and Switzerland. At the beginning of the last century, the government of these countries decided to restore a large animal population. Such predators were settled in local protected areas. Hence their migration to Slovenia and Austria.

The situation in the Balkan Peninsula is deplorable. So, on the territory of Albania, Serbia, Greece and Macedonia, to date, there are only a few dozen of these beautiful animals.

The lynx in Russia is the most numerous. About 90% of the world's animal population is concentrated on domestic expanses. Often you can meet a predatory cat in the forests of Siberia, near the western borders of the country and on Sakhalin.

A rather large population of such animals is observed in the Carpathian Mountains. According to statistics, over 2,000 representatives of the species live in the territories from Romania to the Czech Republic.

A wide population of lynx is also noted in Scandinavia. According to the researchers' estimates, about 2500 of these predators live on the territory of Finland, Norway and Sweden.


So we learned what kind of life lynxes lead, where they live, how they breed and what they feed on. Finally, it is worth noting that the number of these noble animals is steadily decreasing. Not only poaching, but also wasteful deforestation, the expulsion of representatives of the species from the inhabited territories, the reduction of food supply as a result of human activities leads to this.

Description and appearance

What a lynx looks like. It has from 80 cm to 130 cm body length and a height of about 70 cm. In size, like a sick dog. Males weigh up to 30 kg, in females up to 18 kg. The body is dense, short. The difference between the lynx and other individuals of the cat family is the presence of brushes on the tips of the ears. It has a short “chump”, that is, a tail.

The head is proportional to the body, small and rounded. Short muzzle, round eyes and pupils. Due to the long hairline on the edges of the muzzle, the impression of the presence of "buoys".

Lynx fur is considered very valuable, there is no such thing in its family. It is distinguished by its silkiness, height and thickness. The fur is updated, as well as at any individual in the spring and in the autumn. On the stomach, small specks on a pure white background.

Powerful paws and elongated nap, which becomes dense in winter, distinguish the northern individual from its similar ones.

Good winter pubescence makes the lynx's “skis”, due to which it manages to move easily in the snow, which has a loose texture. This is the main difference between the northern lynx and its relatives.

The color is completely dependent on where the lynx lives. Southern individuals have a red color. Northern - from brownish-red to pale yellow with haze. The back, sides and paws have pronounced spots. On the face has white soft, long hair, which in rare cases diluted with specks.

Lynx is the closest individual to the domestic cat. Although it has a significant external difference. Footprints resemble the cat, with no visible manifestations of claws, hind legs go "next to the next" with the front ones.

Where does the lynx live

The lynx habitat has a vast geographical geography. You can meet her in:

  • Azerbaijan,
  • Albania,
  • Belarus,
  • Of Hungary
  • Georgia,
  • Spain,
  • Kazakhstan,
  • Canada
  • China,
  • Ukraine,
  • Mongolia
  • Russia,
  • Romania,
  • Estonia.

This is not a complete list of predator habitats.

Hunting and nutrition

Basically, the lynx hunt time is twilight. She lurks in prey while sitting in an ambush or sneaks slowly to the victim in order to catch her in one leap. A lynx never jumps on a victim from a branch, it hides behind trees, fallen branches and stumps, sometimes sits on a thick branch.

Having crept up to the victim at a distance of 15 meters, she leaps into it in several jumps. When an unsuccessful attempt to kill the prey from the first time, the predator begins a pursuit, usually the fleeing animal manages to escape. The cat is not endowed with endurance and grabs her 60-80 m chase.

When attacking a large animal, the predator bites down the throat and digs its claws into the front part of the body. It gnaws until the animal surrenders and falls dead. The lynx attacks foxes and martens, thereby protecting its hunting grounds. Over time, she eats a small portion of food. He hides the rest, burying him in snow or in inaccessible places for other predators, but he does it without trying, so he often remains without supplies.

Therefore, it happens that the lynx remains to guard its uneaten food in place, even if it is full. Since smaller lovers of fresh meat - sables and columns, quickly take away the slovenly buried remnants of food. And the wolverine, knowing the hunting abilities of a red cat, often follows her while hunting. At the first opportunity, selects the food produced, or waits until the hunter is fed, and then manages the leftovers.

On average, one roe deer for food is enough for 3-4 days, for brood - this is the daily norm. Salmon cat eats during the week. The hare is eaten within two days.

Lynx is a very cautious animal, but even so, it is not afraid of people. The animal is located in the secondary forest plantations created by people, in youngsters and burns. And where there is not enough food, for example, in mountainous areas, she is dropping into settlements. There were cases when she was met in urban areas. She does not attack people herself, but in the case of defense against an attack she can seriously hurt.

Lynx ordinary brings great benefits to forests. Along with the "doctors" of the forest - the wolves, it mainly destroys sick, wounded and weak animals.

Lynx Content at the Zoo

In Russian zoos, lynx is a permanent resident and is not a rare species. To life and reproduction in captivity adapts well.

The breeding period as well as in nature falls at the end of spring and the beginning of summer. Since they don’t have to move in search of food, they mostly sleep. With kittens things are different, these restless babies have destructive and omnipresent abilities. They are usually activated in the evening. Their restlessness continues up to 1.5 years.

For the maintenance of the northern breed must take into account seasonal features and changes. Aviaries, as a rule, are comfortable and bright, where direct sunlight penetrates. Trees, logs, hemp, various toys - this addition brings them closer to their natural existence.

In zoos, predatory cats are trained to the tray.

Fed after milk-feeding exclusively meat. Rabbit meat, veal, turkey, chicken. On the day an adult eats up to three kilograms of meat, in the winter to five.