Eurasian lynx

(Lynx lynx)




Facts about this animal

The Eurasian Lynx is a rather large cat with long legs and an extremely short tail. The head-body-length is 80-130 cm, tail length is about 10-25 cm and they weigth up to 38 kgs. The coat is soft and dense with long hairs and a highly variable colour which varies with the location of the animal. Basic colour is silvery-grey, isabelline, greyish-yellow, rusty or reddish-brown, with more or less distinct darker spots and stripes. Specimens from Central and Southern Europe and Southwest Asia are often or always heavily spotted.


The ears are large and pointed, with long, erect tufts of dark hair on the tips. The backside of the ears are black toward the tips. The feets are very large-padded. The tip of the short tail is black. The sexes are alike, but males are somewhat larger and heavier than the females.


Roe deer, chamois and musk deer, are the main prey. The Lynx will only take smaller prey when ungulates are scarce.

Did you know?
That an individual lynx needs about one roe deer per week or about 60 per year?


Name (Scientific) Lynx lynx
Name (English) Eurasian lynx
Name (French) Lynx, Lynx boréal, Lynx d'Eurasie
Name (German) Luchs
Name (Spanish) Lince
Local names Croatian: Obicni ris
Czech, Slovak: Rys ostrovid
Estonian: Ilves
Finnish: Ilves
Italian: Lince
Norwegian: Gaupe
Polish: Rys
Romanian: Râs
Romansh: Luf tscherver
Slovenian: Ris
Swedish: Lodjur
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Natur und Tierpark Goldau



Range Europe: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia former Yug. Rep., Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Fed., Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey
Asia: Bhutan, China, India, Iran, Iraq (?), Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Habitat Forested areas (Europe and Siberia) or in more open, thinly wooded areas (Central Asia), in thick scrub woodland and barren, rocky areas above the treeline (Himalaya region).
Wild population The European population is estimated at 8,000 individuals (2000), the Russian population between 30000-35000 (2003) and Mongolia 10,000 (2003) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 333 reported to ISIS (2008), including 34 carpathica, 94 lynx and 47 wrangeli. In addition, a considerable number is kept by wildlife parks who don't report to ISIS.

In the Zoo

Eurasian lynx


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 72 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Michael Gäbler

Why do zoos keep this animal

The Eurasian lynx is globally not threatened. Zoos keep the species therefore primarily for educational reasons and for awaking sympathy for a species, which is not everywhere popular with deer hunters and occasionally may cause problems to small livestock farms. This is of particular relevance in countries where the species has been reintroduced after it had become locally extinct, such as France, Slovenia, or Switzerland.