From Yellowstone Wildlife: A Watchers Guide 
by Todd Wilkinson.

Cat of Many Continents

Lynx (Felis canadensis) are deep-snow, sub-alpine forest creatures, equipped with snowshoe-like paws. Very little habitat within Yellowstone is ideal for the Iynx, but occasional sightings indicate that a few roam the park.

Like the bobcat, the Iynx was eagerly sought by fur traders, suffering as a result from local extinctions. The Iynx is now a protected species in Wyoming and Idaho, but destruction of wilderness habitat continues to influence its presence outside of Yellowstone.

The Iynx is a widespread animal, found in parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, and common in Canada and Alaska, though the southern tip of its North American territory extends only to the U.S.-Canadian border and slightly down the spine of the Rockies. Yellowstone, then, is about as far south as the Iynx ventures on this continent.

A furtive prowler, the Iynx is a wide-ranging nighttime hunter whose predatory habits parallel those of the mountain lion and the bobcat. It has no known enemies, although it may have unpleasant or competitive encounters from time to time with people, lions, coyotes, or wolves.

The Iynx has a short tail that is ringed by alternating bands of color. The cat's long, silky coat is gray-buffed, sometimes augmented by blotches of brown on its belly. There's a tuft of hair that is striped black under the Iynx's chin. The width of its paws, which are furred between and around the pads, allows the Iynx to race across snow in pursuit of prey and approach without much sound. In many areas, the Iynx population parallels that of one of its favorite meals, the snowshoe hare. When snowshoe numbers decline every decade or so, the Iynx population dips similarly.

To help the park protect its Iynx, report all suspected sightings to a ranger. Young Iynx resemble cuddly domestic kittens, but if you should happen to encounter them, do not approach. A mother Iynx will fight ferociously to protect her young.

Where to Find Lynx

Within Yellowstone, Iynx inhabit essentially the same terrain as bobcats. Though a roadside sighting is quite unlikely, you might spot a Iynx in the northeast corner of the park, over Sylvan Pass between Fishing Bridge and the east entrance, or just inside the south entrance. Continue to the next page, Moose.

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