Canada Lynx

STATUSLeast Concern


DIETSnowshoe hare, birds, rodents, small deer, caribou fawns, and mountain sheep lambs

RANGEAlaska, Canada, and Northern United States

HABITATForests, shrublands, and grasslands

Canada Lynx

Physical Description

The Canada lynx is a medium-sized cat with an average body length of 35-43 inches, weighing approximately 20-40 lbs. They can reach up to 2 feet tall but have small tails that are only 2-5 inches long. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs which gives them a sloped-forward appearance. Females will be slightly smaller than males. Their fur is very thick, light brown or grey with light black spots, and can have white tipped fur that gives a frosted look.


Being a top predator themselves, not many other species will prey on the lynx, but some predators could include cougars, wolves, and wolverines.


Their average lifespan is 15 years.


Their gestation period is about 9-10 weeks and will result in a litter of about 1-6 kittens. The male will not help raise their offspring. Kittens will be weaned at about 3 months old but will stay with their mother until they are about a year old.

Fun Facts

  • There is a lynx-hare cycle which shows an increase or decline in snowshoe hare populations about every 10 years which is then followed by an increase or decline in the lynx population
  • Large paws covered in fur act like snowshoes and make it easy for the lynx to travel over snow and ice.

Conservation Messaging

As an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility, the Lehigh Valley Zoo is proud to play a role in the conservation community through participation in Species Survival Plans, or SSPs. This means our Canada Lynx are part of a breeding program where we help to maintain captive populations that are both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

By visiting the Lehigh Valley Zoo and other AZA member institutions, you’re supporting the highest level of animal care and welfare, along with the promotion of conservation of animals such as the Canada Lynx.

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