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Bobcats and Lynxes

January 31, 2014

Bobcat & Lynx facts:
The Middle English name “Lynx” – meaning “light” or “brightness,” in reference to its eyeshine – came from Latin, previously from Greek and originally from Indo-European. There are four species in the Lynx genus:
Eurasian Lynx: Lynx lynx, the most numerous and widespread, found throughout Western Europe and Northern Asia. Weight 40-66 lbs, 32-51″ long & 28″ high.
Iberian Lynx: Lynx pardinus, the rarest, found only in Spain and Portugal. They weigh 21-28 lbs, are 33-43″ long & 24-28″ high.
Canadian Lynx: Lynx canadensis, found in Canada and a few northern U.S. states including Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming and Washington. They weigh 17.6-24.3 lbs, are 31-41″ long & 19-22″ high.
Bobcat: Lynx rufus, which dominates the North American continent. It tolerates a varied habitat — from marshes and swampy areas in the southern part of the continent, to desert and scrub in the western regions to mountainous, forested areas in the north. The Canadian Lynx prefers forested areas since that’s where its main source of food, the Snowshoe Hare, lives. The only area where the Canadian lynx and bobcat coexist is along the U.S.-Canada border. Bobcats weigh 16-31 lbs, are 28-39″ long & 20-24″ high.
Telling them apart in North America: They are roughly the same size with short (“bobbed”) tails, but the Bobcat seems to have more of an attitude. Canadian Lynx has extra-long tufts on its ear-tips, a shaggy mane of cheek fur, and bigger feet and longer legs adapted to deep snowy habitats. Bobcats look much like an overgrown feral housecat. Both sound much like a crying baby.
When you “whip your weight in wildcats,” it’s Bobcats you’re talking about. Good luck with that, and be sure to notify your next of kin beforehand.

Now that you know there’s a difference, and what it is, here’s a film of two Lynx conversing at night. It takes a while before you can see the dark eartufts on both of them. The above information was cribbed from Wikipedia and HowStuffWorks.

Links to articles about bobcat trapping near Joshua Tree National Park:
Here Kitty Kitty…Bobcat Trapping Endangers Desert Wildlife – SunRunner Dec’12
Bad Science, Dead Bobcats – SunRunner Feb’13
Bobcat Protection Act Passes California State Assembly – SunRunner May’14
[This article was originally part of a program announcement about urban bobcats, but is now re-purposed into a stand-alone piece.]
[Chuck Almdale]

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