The Queens Zoo has a brand-new cat on the prowl.
The Wildlife Conservation Society welcomed a female Canada lynx to the Queens Zoo.
Canada lynxes are medium-sized cats that are best known for their thick, grayish-brown coats and pointed tufts on their ears. Their large paws are covered with the dense fur, allowing them to act as snowshoes which keep the lynx from sinking into deep snow in their natural habitats. Their range spans Alaska, Canada, and portions of the northern and western United States.
The female lynx came to Queens from the Minnesota Zoo. She will be paired with a male lynx that currently lives at the Queens Zoo as a recommendation of the Canada lynx Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
While Canada lynx populations are healthy in some portions of their range, their numbers have been declining due to trapping for their coats and timber harvesting, which has altered habitat and significantly reduced the population of the snowshoe hare, the primary prey of the Canada lynx. Because of this, the Canada lynx is protected under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species in the United States.