Lynx

LynxLynx — A lynx is any of four medium-sized wild cats. All are members of the genus Lynx, but there is considerable confusion about the best way to classify felids at present, and some authorities classify them as part of the genus Felis.

Lynx have short tails and usually a tuft of black hair on the tip of the ears. They have a ruff under the neck which has black bars (not very visible) and resembles a bow tie. They have large paws padded for walking on snow and long whiskers on the face. The color of the body varies from light brown to grey and is occasionally marked with dark brown spots, especially on the limbs. They range from about 15 kg (33 pounds) to about 30 kg (66 pounds). The Eurasian Lynx is significantly larger than the other species, while the Iberian Lynx is significantly smaller than the other species.

General behavioral traits resemble that of a leopard. Lynx are usually solitary, although a small group of lynx can travel and hunt together. Mating takes place in the late winter and they give birth to 2 to 4 kittens once a year. Their desired resting place is in crevices or under ledges. They feed on a wide range of animals up to the size of Reindeer, Roe Deer and Chamois, but more often birds, small mammals, fish, sheep and goats. Lynx have been observed (2006) in the Wet Mountains of Colorado. In recent years a few Lynx sightings have started to pop up in the southern Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, specifically in the area from Mount Mitchell across to the Shope Creek Forest area (part of Pisgah National Forrest). One Lynx was even caught alive in a cage trap at Graystone Cabins near Barnardsville, NC – the animal was later released alive in a wilderness area within Madison County, NC. Although USFWS officials still deny the presence of Lynx in the southern Appalachians, the most recent sighting was reported in Sept 2007, along the Shope Creek Forest area. USFWS officials say that, if these sightings were in fact Lynx, they were most likely illegally held pets that were either let go or had escaped. Spotting a lynx is a very rare event in and of itself, due to the extremely shy and solitary nature of the animal. It is a secretive cat and usually avoids people; it has been reported to attack humans, but very rarely, almost exclusively in defense. The female lynx has 2 kittens in the winter season the young stay with the mother for 1 more winter and then can live for themselves.

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