Lynxes are small cats and are therefore mammals. There are four different species, all living in North America, Europe, and Asia. When we talk about the lynx, we usually mean the European lynx.
Lynx are larger and heavier than our house cats. They are more like medium to larger dogs. They have sharp claws that they can retract and extend to kill their prey. They live to be 10 to 20 years old.
How do lynx live?
Lynx hunt at night or at dusk. They eat all small or medium-sized mammals and birds such as foxes, martens, rabbits, young wild boars, squirrels, deer, deer, rabbits, mice, rats, and marmots, as well as sheep and chickens. But they also like fish.
Lynx lives alone. The males only look for a female when they want to have children. This happens between February and April. After about ten weeks, the mother gives birth to two to five young. They are blind and weigh just under 300 grams, about the same as three bars of chocolate.
Lynx drink milk from their mother. It is also said that they are suckled by their mother for about five months. That is why the lynx is a mammal. They start eating meat when they are about four weeks old. The next spring they leave their mother. Females are sexually mature at around two years of age, and males at three years of age. This means that they can then make their own young.
Are lynx threatened with extinction?
In Central and Western Europe, the lynx was almost extinct. Lynx liked people’s sheep and chickens. That is why people saw lynx as vermin.
In recent years, lynx have been released in various areas or have immigrated again themselves. In order for the lynx to survive, there are strict rules on how it can be hunted. In Germany, the lynx is still considered endangered. Even in Switzerland, not everyone likes him. Farmers and shepherds in particular are fighting back because they now have to guard their herds. Hunters say the lynx eats their prey.
Before they were released, many lynxes were equipped with transmitters that could be used to locate them. You can follow how they move and where they live. This way you can protect them better. From time to time you catch a hunter who shot a lynx even though it was forbidden.