MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(CCNMatthews – Jan. 30, 2007) – The two Canadian lynx cubs recently adopted by the Montreal Biodome, one male and one female, were introduced into the Laurentian Forest this morning at about 10 a.m. They are very cute and full of energy.
They were born at a breeder’s farm in Goose Bay, Labrador, eight months ago, and have now reached about 3/4 of their adult size. Canadian lynxes are not considered an endangered species according to Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but could well become one if trade in these felines is not controlled. They live mainly in Canada, Alaska and the northern United States, in conifer forests with dense underbrush, in the same habitat as Arctic hares, which account for 75% of their diet. A lynx’s territory ranges from 15 to 40 km2, and can even be as large as 20 km2.
An adult lynx can eat 200 hares a year, leaping up to seven metres to seize its prey. Lynxes are also very good climbers and excellent swimmers. They are usually solitary animals, but may hunt in packs when food is scarce to improve their chances of catching a meal. Lynxes rarely venture out in daytime, except in winter. They hunt at night, roaming from 4 to 20 km. They are active all winter long. Lynxes are spotted very rarely in the wild. Their main predators are wolves, cougars and humans.
Mating occurs in March and April. After a gestation period of 63 days, the female bears a litter of one to five cubs, in May or June. The young leave their mother the following spring.
You can watch them playing and exploring their new habitat at the Biodome. But please keep your voice down – like all felines, our Canadian lynx cubs have very keen hearing and don’t like loud noises.