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Lynx??

by | Jan 15, 2010 | 0 comments

lynx-track.JPG

 The possible tracks of Lynx canadensis.

Only one photo of a lynx exists in Yellowstone National Park and that was taken on the Gibbon River, YNP in winter of 2007. Since 1872, there have been 111 observations in YNP.  I was in the Gibbon Canyon on and off that winter and even today as I drove by the photo’s location, I checked for tracks in the snow. No dice. As my Bomb made it’s way up Blanding Hill, east of Norris, I noticed a YNP Park Ranger, with badge and glock, parked on the side of the road marking something.  I popped out of the hatch, and he told me he found the tracks of a Lynx.  The tracks where 4-5 inches wide, 15-17 inches apart, damn near in a straight line and only poked into the snow about 2 inches. The snow was over three feet deep.  Any other animal would have posted-holed to their chest.  Did I mention the snow shoe hare tracks all over the snow?

Lynx are noctural, chasing after snow shoe hares in the thick conifer forest all winter.  Their name alone, sounds sneaky. One would have live in the woods for weeks on end to have a shnick-licklers chance in hell of catching a glimse of the animal.  This cat’s pad are huge, relative to their body mass, and are the same size of their distant relative, the cougar….aka a Mountain Lion. Since lynx only weight up to 35 lbs, think how well they creep across the deep snow. Inbetween their digital and palm pads is thick, long hair….. only adding to their sneakyness.

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