October 20, 2019

Canada Lynx: The Comeback Cat

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“Biologist Jen Vashon was in the North Woods of Maine, deep in a sea of rolling spruce and fir and a couple hundred miles from any town or paved road.

She wasn’t alone. Peering over the top of a large fallen tree, she spied what she’d come for. Just yards away lay the storied cousin of the bobcat: a Canada lynx, distinguished by its black-tipped tail and ears and long legs with large, furry paws. Snuggled against the lynx were balls of fluff with blue eyes and their own black tufts of fur rising like antennas from the ear.

The Maine biologist was witnessing a nursing female Canada lynx for the first time.

“I was so anxious to get a photo that I called in my crew member, but due to his excitement his approach spooked the cat,” Vashon said. The mother took off, leading her scent away from the litter.

This allowed the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife crew to quickly gather information on the month-old kittens and attach ear tags. The mother’s radio collar that had led them to the den revealed that she lurked nearby. Vashon, with each rise from the den, saw the yellow eyes warily stare back.

The litter became one of 44 litters with a total of 116 kittens that have been tagged and monitored in Maine since 1999. Nearly 100 adults have been tracked with radio collars, all in an effort to better understand the abundance of lynx in the state, their ability to survive and reproduce, and the factors that may limit their numbers.”<<<Read More>>>

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