Lynx, Keith Williams photoLynx, NPS photoLynx, NPS photo

Rarely seen in the continental United States, and listed as a threatened species in the lower 48 states, the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is thought to frequent portions of the Crown of the Continent. More than twice the size of a domestic cat, lynx prefer the shelter of dense forests. They hunt in higher elevations, where their long legs and broad furred feet aid them in traveling through deep snow, using their large ears and eyes to find prey. Snowshoe hares comprise 60% to 97% of their diet, with rodents, birds and sometimes larger animals, and occasional carrion, making up the rest. While prominently solitary, females and their cubs have been known to work together in hunting, one lynx scaring prey out of hiding while the others attack.

As lynx populations are correlated to the rise and fall of snowshoe hares, research has been directed at studying the population trends of these prey animals to determine lynx viability.