Eurasian lynx (Lynx linx)

Brief background:
10-18 (30) kg
Length: 71-130 cm; at withers: 60-75 cm (males are larger than females)
Sexual maturity age: males ~ at 3 years of age | females at 2 years of age
Mating period: February-March, often also early April
Gestation period: 2-2.5 months (67-74 days)
Number of offspring: 2-3 (5), born in May
Lifespan: 11-17 years
Natural predators: wolves
Status of the species in Latvia: Specially protected species of limited harvest. Occurs mainly in Ziemeļvidzeme and Ziemeļkurzeme regions. According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau for 2019, the population residing in the territory of Latvia reaches approximately 1,500 individuals.

Where do they live? Lynx is a typical forest-dwelling animal. They prefer more silent and darker areas of older coniferous and mixed forests with windfalls and deadwood, areas with comparatively dense undergrowth or understory, or areas bordering on overgrown forest clearings, burnt areas or swamps. Closeness of potable water is also a criterion for the choice of habitat by lynx.

How do they live? Lynx are highly elusive animals and not everyone will be able to see them in the wild. Lynx are predominantly solitary animals, except for the breeding period, when they establish families (most frequently, females with cubs). These large wild felids are monogamous - one male predominantly mates with one female. Lynx like to regularly mark and thoroughly guard their territory. If the “home fridge” is empty, they wander beyond to search for food. Lynx are active at dusk and at night, while resting during the day.

What do they eat? Like ordinary domestic cats, lynx love meat. For instance, roe deer, hares, foxes, galliform birds, smaller predator species, squirrels, rodents, beavers. Although rarely, they can feed on carrion. If the snow cover in winter is very deep, and prevents the lynx from finding smaller prey, they may attack moose and red deer calves, as well as juvenile wild boars.

Did you know?

  • Eurasian lynx is the largest and most widely distributed of the four lynx species occurring worldwide.
  • Eurasian lynx is the third largest predator species in Europe after the brown bear and the grey wolf.
  • Eurasian lynx has six subspecies.
  • Lynx is the only felid species in Latvia.
  • Lynx, like all other cats, purr, hiss and growl - the only difference is the louder and lower sound.
  • Lynx are solitary animals, they are very cautious and elusive.
  • Lynx have very sharp vision - they can see their prey at the distance of 75 metres.
  • Tufts on the ears tips of lynx serve better detection of prey and its location.
  • Lynx can jump almost 2 metres high.
  • Lynx consumes approximately two kilos of meat per day.
  • If necessary, lynx are good swimmers.
  • Lynx are good (but rare) tree climbers.
  • In winter, the rounded, soft and wide paws of lynx are a perfect support that enables them to walk on deep snow.
  • Lynx is the national animal of Romania and Serbia.
  • Lynx is depicted on 5 the Denari coin of Macedonia.
  • In the Middle Ages the name of lynx was frequently mentioned together with the Devil.
  • Greek, Scandinavian myths and myths of Northern American people attributed the capacity to see through everything and reveal hidden truths to Lynx.
  • Lynx has its own constellation in the sky.
  • The Latin name “lynx” has originated from Greek “λύγξ”, which means “light, brightness” – with reference to the light-reflecting, luminescent eyes of the lynx.
Myths and truth Lynx never attack anyone or hunt from a tree! Lynx is a sort of cat - have you ever seen your cat jumping from a tree to catch a mouse?

There are two individuals of lynx residing at Līgatne Nature Trails