Eurasian lynx

Once widespread throughout most of Europe, by now extinct in most of Western and Central Europe

A formidable and majestic feline, it is the largest cat species in Europe, surpassed in size only by brown bears and wolves among the continent’s predators. This elusive and solitary hunter is adorned with a luxurious coat that varies seasonally, serving as a protective camouflage and a testament to its adaptability to diverse climates.

In winter, the Eurasian Lynx’s fur grows longer. It can display a range of colors from silver-gray and yellowish-gray to dark gray, grizzled grayish-brown, or even ashy blue, providing an effective disguise against snow-covered landscapes. Come summer, the coat becomes brownish or reddish and much shorter, suiting the warmer conditions and the forested and mountainous terrains it frequents. The markings on their bodies are as varied as their habitats, with some lynxes showcasing clear black spots, others bearing narrow stripes, and others displaying almost no spots at all.

As strict carnivores, Eurasian Lynxes have a diet that reflects the richness of their ecosystem. Roe deer and musk deer are among their preferred prey, along with chamois, rabbits, rodents, birds, hares, and even the cunning red fox. In the harsher winter months, when smaller prey is scarcer, they are known to target larger animals such as reindeer and elk, demonstrating their versatility and prowess as predators.

The hunting strategy of the Eurasian Lynx is one of patience and precision. Rather than engage in lengthy chases, they opt for the element of surprise, ambushing their prey from a concealed position. This method allows them to conserve energy and increases their success rate, a crucial adaptation in environments where food can be sparse and the energy expenditure of hunting is high.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2014
Albania
2014
Armenia
2014
Austria
2014
Azerbaijan
2014
Belarus
550-600
LC
2014
Bhutan
2014
Presence Uncertain
Bosnia And Herz.
>50
Official estimate
LC
2014
Bulgaria
2014
China
2014
Croatia
40-60
Official estimate
LC
2014
Czechia
2014
Estonia
900
LC
2014
Finland
2,200-2,300
Official estimate
LC
2014
France
2014
Georgia
2014
Germany
2014
Greece
2014
Presence Uncertain
Hungary
10-12
Official estimate
LC
2014
India
2014
Iran
2014
Iraq
2014
Italy
2014
Kazakhstan
2014
Kyrgyzstan
2014
Latvia
700
LC
2014
Liechtenstein
2014
Lithuania
80-100
LC
2014
Moldova
2014
Presence Uncertain
Mongolia
2014
Montenegro
2014
Presence Uncertain
Nepal
2014
North Korea
2014
North Macedonia
2014
Norway
2014
Pakistan
2014
Poland
2014
Romania
2,000
LC
2014
Russia
22,510
LC
2014
Serbia
2014
Presence Uncertain
Slovakia
2014
Slovenia
40
Official estimate
LC
2014
Sweden
2014
Switzerland
2014
Tajikistan
2014
Turkey
2014
Turkmenistan
2014
Ukraine
2014
Uzbekistan
2014

Recent updates

Feb 2023: The future of the endangered Eurasian lynx in France is uncertain, as there is a real possibility that they may not recover fully and might face extinction.

Feb 2023: UK Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey has voiced her opposition to the reintroduction of lynx and wolves to England, effectively putting the proposed reintroductions on hold. Coffey has stated that she does not believe the reintroduction of these species to the English countryside is necessary or beneficial.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No