We have been treated to some incredible videos of Canada lynx in the wild, thanks to our friend Allie Ladd of Byron. The truth is, they never seem to get old, no matter how many times we see them.
Ladd lives right in the same neck of the woods as the lynx, a federally protected species. And because he knows where the beautiful furbearers hang out, and that they enjoy a free winter meal consisting of roadkill or other meat, his cameras often capture sights none of us are ever likely to see in person.
While male lynx are solitary animals that roam the woods silently during the winter in search of a meal — likely a snowshoe hare — things can heat up quickly when two or more competing lynx gather at the same place.
Today’s video demonstrates that lynx assert themselves with some terrifying vocalizations designed to prove who’s running the show.
It’s difficult to know whether this is a simple territorial dispute, or has something to do with the impending mating season, but it’s clear they’re having a serious conversation about something.
As two lynx engage in an apparent screaming match, a third member of the groups quickly bounds out of the line of fire and is content to watch from the periphery.
Jennifer Vashon, the black bear and Canada lynx biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, told the Bangor Daily News after five lynx were seen traveling together in Aroostook County that we’re approaching the time of year when lynx are more likely to be coming together.
“In late February and March (the breeding season), we often receive observations of two lynx,” Vashon said. “These are typically either a breeding pair or two males involved in territorial disputes. These territorial disputes can be more passive (vocalizations and posturing) or can become pretty violent.”
Allie Ladd’s recent video doesn’t seem to show that the two competing lynx engaged in a physical confrontation, but apparently that isn’t out of the question at this time of year.
DIF&W said a female lynx only breeds with a single male each year, which may help explain why the competition is so fierce. That said, males may breed with more than one female.
Vashon said during the breeding season, in late February and March, there often are reports of two lynx together. They are typically a breeding pair, or two males engaged in some sort of territorial dispute.
Canada lynx were federally listed as threatened in 2000 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. However, it was later determined through a telemetry study that by 2006 their numbers had reached record levels in Maine.
Our deep appreciation for Allie Ladd’s video contributions and for the expertise provided for DIF&W for helping us understand these amazing creatures.
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