Where Do Lynx Live?

Lynx are cold-weather loving wildcats and their habitat extends across the Northern Hemisphere wherever there are forests of an appropriate climate. Lynx are mainly found in the northern regions of North America and in temperate forests of Asia and Europe, although some species extend south.

Lynx are adapted for cold weather by their thick, lustrous fur, compact bodies and snowshoe-like ruffs of hair around their paws. However, their range does not extend into the polar regions, where the preferred habitat of the lynx, the forest, is hardly seen.

Species whose range extends into southern temperate regions, such as the bobcat and the endangered Iberian lynx, tend to keep to the mountains where their cold weather adaptations can be put to use regardless of their geographic latitude. Although not a lynx by name, the bobcat of the continental United States is part of the same family. It range includes almost all of Western North America, from southern Canada to Oaxaca, Mexico. The Iberian lynx is so endangered that it can be said to live precisely in two locations: Sierra de Andújar, Jaén and Coto Doñana National Park, Andalusia. Both are national parks in Spain.

The Canadian lynx lives abundantly in Canada, although it is considered threatened in the United States due to loss of habitat. The Eurasian lynx lives everywhere from Scandinavia to Kamchatka (near the Bering Strait dividing Alaska from Russia), with pockets in the Caspian Sea region, the Plateau of Tibet and Central Asia. It has been hunted in China, Russia and Western Europe for its beautiful fur.