Carpathian lynx

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Carpathian lynx
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Lynx
L. l. carpathicus
Trinomial name
Lynx lynx carpathicus
(Kratochvil & Stollmann, 1963)

The Carpathian lynx (Lynx lynx carpathicus) is a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx found in the Carpathian Basin of Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.



The Carpathian lynx is quite large compared to other cat species. They have lengthy legs, large paws, bob tails, cheek hair forming a facial ruff, and tall ears with noticeable black tufts. Like other lynx subspecies, Carpathian lynxes have big, furry paws which hit the ground with a spreading toe movement, allowing them to walk above the snow. Their thick fur protects them from cold during winters. They have soft fur, which has denser amounts of spots than other lynx subspecies. [4] Individual Carpathian lynxes have different patterns of spots, which allows researchers to identify them more easily on camera. [5]

Distribution and habitat

Carpathian lynxes can be found in the Carpathian mountain ranges of Europe. They hunt in the northern forests of Europe and Asia. [6] [4]

Ecology and behavior

Carpathian lynxes are not fast runners compared to other cat species, and instead rely on ambush attacks to kill their prey. [6] They are solitary creatures, avoiding humans and only coming together to breed. [4]


Like other cat species, the Carpathian lynx is carnivorous and preys on deer, wild goats, and sheep. In times of scarcity, they have been known to feed on smaller creatures, such as hares, rabbits, grouse, foxes, and rodents. They hunt at night, and are not often spotted by humans for this reason. [4]


Carpathian lynxes have a gestation period of 63 to 74 days. [6] Their litters have one to four kittens, [4] who weigh 240 to 430 grams (8.5 to 15 oz) at birth and are born blind. [6] The female lynx raises the kittens by herself, and the male does not play a part in their parenting. [4] The kittens remain with their mother for 10 months. [6]


L. l. carpathicus was once common throughout Europe, but is now extinct in some areas. [6] In contrast to the expanding populations of many large carnivores in Europe, the Carpathian lynx population in the Western Carpathians appears unable to spread beyond the western boundaries of its current range, at the Czech-Slovak border. Persistent low density, high turnover of residents, and female philopatry may be responsible for hindering its range expansion, but stressors such as poaching and increasing landscape fragmentation in the Western Carpathians have exacerbated this issue. [7] In addition, due to reintroduction in the 1970s, there is an endangered population in the territories of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia. [8] Its main habitat, the Carpathian Mountains, are a popular eco-tourist destination. Illegal logging is widespread in the area as well, due to the existing laws not having enough funding to be enforced. [6]

Related Research Articles

Lynx Genus of mammals (medium-sized wild cats)

A lynx is any of the four species within the medium-sized wild cat genus Lynx. The name lynx originated in Middle English via Latin from the Greek word λύγξ, derived from the Indo-European root leuk- in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes.

Bobcat Medium-sized North American wild cat

The bobcat, also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat native to North America. It ranges from southern Canada through most of the contiguous United States to Oaxaca in Mexico. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002, due to its wide distribution and large population. Although it has been hunted extensively both for sport and fur, populations have proven resilient, though declining, in some areas.

Wildcat Small wild cat

The wildcat is a species complex comprising two small wild cat species, the European wildcat and the African wildcat. The European wildcat inhabits forests in Europe and the Caucasus, while the African wildcat inhabits semi-arid landscapes and steppes in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, into western India and western China. The wildcat species differ in fur pattern, tail, and size: the European wildcat has long fur and a bushy tail with a rounded tip; the smaller African wildcat is more faintly striped, has short sandy-gray fur and a tapering tail; the Asiatic wildcat is spotted.

Sand cat Small wild cat species (Felis margarita)

The sand cat, also known as the sand dune cat, is a small wild cat that inhabits sandy and stony deserts far from water sources. With its sandy to light grey fur, it is well camouflaged in a desert environment. Its head-and-body length ranges from 39–52 cm (15–20 in) with a 23–31 cm (9.1–12.2 in) long tail. Its 5–7 cm (2.0–2.8 in) long ears are set low on the sides of the head, aiding detection of prey moving underground. The long hair covering the soles of its feet insulates its foot pads against the extremely hot and cold temperatures in deserts.

Black-footed cat Small wild cat native to Southern Africa

The black-footed cat, also called the small-spotted cat, is the smallest wild cat in Africa, having a head-and-body length of 35–52 cm (14–20 in). Despite its name, only the soles of its feet are black or dark brown. With its bold small spots and stripes on the tawny fur, it is well camouflaged, especially on moonlit nights. It bears black streaks running from the corners of the eyes along the cheeks, and its banded tail has a black tip.

Serval Small wild cat

The serval is a wild cat native to Africa. It is rare in North Africa and the Sahel, but widespread in sub-Saharan countries. except rainforest regions. Across its range, it occurs in protected areas, and hunting it is either prohibited or regulated in range countries.

Eurasian lynx Small wild cat

The Eurasian lynx is a medium-sized wild cat widely spread throughout Eurasia, in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe to Central Asia and Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas. It inhabits temperate and boreal forests up to an elevation of 5,500 m (18,000 ft). Despite its wide distribution, it is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and depletion of prey.

Iberian lynx Small wild cat

The Iberian lynx is a wild cat species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. In the 20th century, the Iberian lynx population had declined because of overhunting and poaching, fragmentation of suitable habitats, as well as the decline in population of its main prey species, the European rabbit, caused by myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease.

Canada lynx Medium-sized wild cat

The Canada lynx is a medium-sized North American lynx that ranges across Alaska, Canada, and northern areas of the contiguous United States. It is characterized by its long, dense fur, triangular ears with black tufts at the tips, and broad, snowshoe-like paws. As in the related bobcat, the lynx's hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs, so the back slopes downward to the front. The Canada lynx stands 48–56 cm (19–22 in) tall at the shoulder and weighs between 5 and 17 kg. The lynx is a good swimmer and an agile climber. The Canada lynx was first described by Robert Kerr in 1792. Three subspecies have been proposed, but their validity is doubted; it is mostly considered a monotypic species.

Caracal Small wild cat

The caracal is a medium-sized wild cat native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. It is characterised by a robust build, long legs, a short face, long tufted ears, and long canine teeth. Its coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, while the ventral parts are lighter with small reddish markings. It reaches 40–50 cm (16–20 in) at the shoulder and weighs 8–19 kg (18–42 lb). It was first scientifically described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1776. Three subspecies are recognised.

Oncilla Small wild cat

The oncilla, also known as the northern tiger cat, little spotted cat, and tigrillo, is a small spotted cat ranging from Central America to central Brazil. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and the population is threatened by deforestation and conversion of habitat to agricultural land.

Tiger quoll Carnivorous marsupial native to Australia

The tiger quoll, also known as the spotted-tail quoll, the spotted quoll, the spotted-tail dasyure, native cat or the tiger cat, is a carnivorous marsupial of the quoll genus Dasyurus native to Australia. With males and females weighing around 3.5 and 1.8 kg, respectively, it is the world's second largest extant carnivorous marsupial, behind the Tasmanian devil. Two subspecies are recognised; the nominate is found in wet forests of southeastern Australia and Tasmania, and a northern subspecies, D. m. gracilis, is found in a small area of northern Queensland and is endangered.

Eurasian brown bear Subspecies of carnivore

The Eurasian brown bear is one of the most common subspecies of the brown bear, and is found in much of Eurasia. It is also known as the European brown bear, common brown bear, common bear, and colloquially by many other names. "The genetic diversity of present-day brown bears has been extensively studied over the years and appears to be geographically structured into five main clades based upon analysis of the mtDNA."

Yellow-throated marten Species of carnivore

The yellow-throated marten is a marten species native to Asia. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to its wide distribution, evidently relatively stable population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and lack of major threats.

<i>Puma</i> (genus) Genus of mammals

Puma is a genus in the family Felidae that contains the cougar, and may also include several poorly known Old World fossil representatives. In addition to these potential Old World fossils, a few New World fossil representatives are possible, such as Puma pumoides and the two species of the so-called "American cheetah".

Balkan lynx Subspecies of medium-sized cat native to Europe and Asia

The Balkan lynx is a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx in the genus Lynx. It is found in eastern Albania and western North Macedonia, with smaller populations in Kosovo and Montenegro. It is considered a national symbol in the Republic of North Macedonia and appears on the Macedonian five denar coin.

Scottish wildcat Small wild cat

The Scottish wildcat is a European wildcat population in Scotland. This population is estimated to comprise between 1,000 and 4,000 individuals, of which about 400 cats are thought to meet the morphological and genetic criteria of a wildcat. The Scottish wildcat population was once widely distributed across Great Britain, but has declined drastically since the turn of the 20th century due to habitat loss and persecution, and is now limited to north and east Scotland. It is listed as Critically Endangered in the United Kingdom, and is primarily threatened by hybridization with domestic cats. Camera-trapping surveys carried out in the Scottish Highlands between 2010 and 2013 revealed that wildcats live foremost in mixed woodland, whereas feral and domestic cats were photographed mostly in grasslands.

Siberian lynx Subspecies of carnivore

The Siberian lynx, also known as the East Siberian lynx, is a subspecies of Eurasian lynx living in the Russian Far East. It lives in the Stanovoy Range and east of the Yenisei River. There were 5,890 mature individuals in the Russian Far East as of 2013. Prey include the Siberian roe deer. The Siberian lynx is the second most common subspecies of the Eurasian lynx. According to a study done on the mortality of Eurasian lynx, the Siberian lynx lives to an average age of 15 years.

The Caucasian lynx, also known as the Caucasus lynx or the eastern lynx, is a subspecies of Eurasian lynx native in the Caucasus, Iran, Turkey, and European Russia. It is proposed for the Caucasian lynx to be listed as Vulnerable in Iran.

Northern lynx Subspecies of carnivore

The northern lynx is a medium-sized subspecies of the Eurasian lynx.


  1. von Arx, M. (2018). "Lynx lynx (errata version published in 2019)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2018: e.T12519A145266191. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T12519A145266191.en . Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  2. Kaczensky, Petra; Chapron, Guillaume; von Arx, Manuela; Huber, Djuro; Andrén, Henrik; Linnell, John, eds. (December 2012). Status, management and distribution of large carnivores – bear, lynx, wolf & wolverine – in Europe. Part 1 Summary report (PDF) (Report). European Commission. p. 37.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  3. "Status of large carnivore populations in Europe 2012-2016". European Commission. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Lynx (Carpathian) – Dudley Zoo and Castle". Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  5. Rigg, Robin; Kubala, Jakub (January 2015). "Monitoring the status of Carpathian lynx in Switzerland and Slovakia". ResearchGate.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Carpathian Lynx | Newquay Zoo". Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  7. Krojerová-Prokešová, J.; Turbaková, B.; Jelenčič, M.; Bojda, M.; Kutal, M.; Skrbinšek, T.; Koubek, P.; Bryja, J. (2019). "Genetic constraints of population expansion of the Carpathian lynx at the western edge of its native distribution range in Central Europe". Heredity. 122 (6): 785–799. doi: 10.1038/s41437-018-0167-x . PMC   6781145 . PMID   30470785.
  8. "Risom v Sloveniji in na Hrvaškem se obeta svetlejša prihodnost" [Brighter Future Expected for Lynx of Slovenia and Croatia]. (in Slovenian). 14 April 2017.