The Eurasian Lynx is also known as the European Lynx, Common Lynx, the Northern Lynx and the Siberian or Russian Lynx.
The Eurasian Lynx is the largest lynx species, ranging in length from 80-130cm and standing about 60-75cm at the shoulder. The tail measures 11-24.5cm in length. Males usually weigh from 18-30kg and females weigh from 8-21kg.
During the summer, the Eurasian Lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which tends to be more brightly coloured in animals living at the southern end of its range. In winter, however, this is replaced by a much thicker coat of silky fur that varies from silver-grey to greyish-brown. The under-parts of the animal, including the neck and chin, are white at all times of the year. The fur is almost always marked with black spots. Some also possess dark-brown stripes on the forehead and back. The Eurasian Lynx makes a range of vocalization, but are generally silent outside of the breeding season. It is a solitary animal and very secretive in nature One of the world’s most solitary predators ——- the Eurasian Lynx —- often referred to as the “keeper of secrets” (in popular folklore), and rarely leaves the forest. They have been observed to mew, hiss, growl and purr, and, like domestic cats, will “chatter’ ate prey that is just out of reach,. Mating calls are much louder, consisting of deep growls (in the male) and low “meow-like” sounds (in the female).
Because of the secretive nature of the lynx, they are seldom heard and their presence, in an area, may go unnoticed for years. Remnants of prey or tracks on snow are usually observed long before the animal is seen. It preys largely on small mammals and birds. Amongst the recorded prey items are rabbits, reindeer, dormice, squirrels, wild boar, red foxes and red deer. The lynx prefers largely ungulate prey, especially during winter, when small prey is less abundant. They will also feed on carrion when it is available Adult Lynx require 1.1-2kg of meat per day, and may take several days to fully consume some of their larger prey.
The main method of hunting is stalking, sneaking and jumping on prey. They hunt using both vision and hearing, and often climb on to high rocks or fallen trees to scan the surrounding area. The Eurasian Lynx inhabits rugged forested country providing plenty of hide-outs and stalking opportunities. They tend to be less common where wolves are abundant, as wolves have been reported to attack and even eat lynx. Although they may hunt during the day when food is scarce, the Eurasian Lynx is mainly nocturnal, and spends the day sleeping in dense thickets or other places of concealment.
The mating season for Eurasian Lynx lasts from Jan-April. Pregnant females construct dens in secluded locations, often protected by over-hanging branches or tree roots. The den may e lined with feathers, deer hair and dry grass to provide bedding for the young kittens. She gives birth to 1 or 4 kittens. At birth, the kittens weigh 240-430gm and are blind and helpless. They initially have plain, greyish-brown fur, attaining the full adult colouration around 11 weeks of age. The eyes open after 10-12 days. The kittens begin to take solid food at 6-7 weeks, when they begin to leave the den, but are not fully weaned for 5-6mths. The den is abandoned 2-3 months after the kittens are born, but the young typically remain with their mother until they are around 10 months of age. The Eurasian Lynx have lived for 21 years in captivity.