Lynx

     With a pounce and a hop the speedy lynx chases the bleached white hare
through the bushes. Poof! The hare disappears into the shiny white powder. Then
the sly lynx picks up the scent of the hare and pounces toward the small
hairball. The sharp elongated claws donít dig in, and the hareís long
slender legs launch himself out of the hole and out of danger. The swift cat
swings his claws around to hit the fast hare, but he hits the snow right under
his back legs. The hare runs right between two willow trees and into a narrow
opening which has a bunch of fallen willow trees. The hare has escaped from the
lynx this one time, but the lynx will find other food. The lynx is a pale brown
to brownish grey with black streaks on its neck, forehead, and on the back. It
has a short tail, long tuffed ears, long slender legs, wide feet for control in
the snow, and long very soft fur. The lynx will grow to be 30 to 40 inches long,
and 24 to 28 inches high from feet to shoulders. They usually weight 15 to 45
pounds. When you see the lynx, at first sight, it looks gaunt and lanky, but it
is really fast and muscular. The back legs are longer than the fore legs for
better pouncing ability. "From the front the lynx looks royal with its hair on
its face coming out to two points" (Myers 136). The lynx is closely related to
the bobcat, which populates the north American region. The bobcat does not have
big fluffy paws, or is not as big as the lynx in relative size. They have two
different food varieties. The lynx eats hares ,and also may prey on small deer,
dall sheep, grouse, mice. Rarely they feed on fish. On the other hand bobcats
feed on grouse , fish, and other small rodents. Lynx chase and still hunt their
prey. They chase hares or they stay up on cliffs and branches, and waiting to
pounce on the animal as it goes by. The lynx ranges from Alaska, all the way
across Canada. The lynx are usually found in climax forests and dense
undercovers. They are usually found where hares are abundant. If there are no
hares in the vicinity, they travel out into the tundra to find food. "Lynx
breed during March and April. The gestation period is 60 days long" ( Myers

135) . They will have from 1- 4 kittens each year. They usually have dens, where
they keep their kittens, in hollow trees or under a pile of brush. The kittens
stay with the female until well into the next winter. The kittens donít open
their eyes until 10 days after birth. They also only nurse for 3 to 4 months.

When the population of the hares are up the litters of 2 to 4 kittens have a lot
better chance to survive in the wilderness with their parents. When food is not
abundant the female lynx might not have a litter at all that year or not until
the hares have come back. Lynx usually are silent, but the males make a
screeching noise to find a mate during breeding season. The weird thing about
the lynx is when it is in a trap. It doesnít make a sound. It sits there
calmly accepting its death. The Lynx are sly creatures that prowl at night to
find their food. That is usually the reason why people donít see the lynx out
in the wilderness a lot. The lynx are sensitive to bright light, because their
eyes are made to see at night. Adult males usually hunt alone, not in packs like
wolves.The females usually hunt with their family if the kittens are old enough
to go along. The kits hunt with their mother and learn skills from her until
they leave in the fallowing winter. The huge feet of the lynx give it superb
agility in the snow. The lynx has been known to chase down slow clumsy fox that
has slim and slender feet that donít give them any leverage on top of the
snow. Trapping lynx is not particularly easy. Trappers use both snares and traps
on the lynx. An abundant number of hares means there will be a lot of lynx that
year. In the years when lynx are abundant, a good trapper may take a dozen in a
month. The fine fur of the lynx is used to make fine coats, collars, coat
trimmings, jackets, hats, and muffs. The average cost of a lynx pelt is $125 ( a
nice large male coat with good dark colors). "Every year trappers take from
$8,000 to $10,000 in money from lynx pelts" (Reader 52). My family (Jacob ,

Dad, and I) use cubbyís to catch our lynx. A cubby is a den made out of sticks
with one trap on the ground and the bait in the back. A cubby is usually 4 feet
high and 3 feet wide so the lynx has a pretty good chance of getting his foot
caught in a trap. We usually use ptarmagin wings Which were shot earlier in the
year. Trappers in the small villages of Alaska eat the pale lynx meat that
tastes like veal (they say). When the trapper gets the fur, he usually puts it
in a bag with flea killer to get rid of all the bugs on the lynx's pelt. The
population of lynx vary all over the state as the population of hares move, the
lynx follow. The population of lynx may vary from the climate and the water
sources to the dense under cover of forests. One place in the Tanana Valley may
have all the things that a lynx needs so there will be lots of kits born and the
population will increase. Ten miles from that spot there may be no lynx because
of the lack of resources. Most of the lynx are caught in the Upper Tanana-White

River country and south to the Alaska Range. This report I found was really
interesting, and even though I trap lynx there is lots that I donít know about
these sly creatures. These tricky mammals have lots of things that amaze me like
they may eat big animals like dall sheep and deer. Overall I think that lynx are
one of my favorite animals in Alaska.

Bibliography

1."Alaska,"National Geographic, (May 1994) vol.185,p.89.
2.

"Lynx," Alaska Mammals, (December 1981) vol.8, p.52.
3.

"Lynx," Collierís Encyclopedia, P.F. Collier & Jon LTD.,1983, vol.15,
pp.135-136.