Canada Lynx and Snowshoe Hare
Part of Hall of North American Mammals.
Late October, Quebec, Canada
Despite its best efforts to hide, a snowshoe (varying) hare has captured the attention of a Canada lynx. If the hare acts quickly, it may escape. With its large “snowshoe” hind feet, this hare can bound 12 feet (3.6 meters) in a single leap, even in deep snow.
Still, lynxes specialize in hunting rabbits. They too have broad, well-furred paws and fast reflexes. Lynx hearing and vision are also excellent for tracking rabbits on the run. This hare’s fur coat, which varies with the season, will surely stand out against the October snow—the pelt has not yet turned fully white.
Predator and Prey
The Lynx-Hare Link
Canada lynxes eat mostly snowshoe hares—which in turn are preyed on almost exclusively by Canada lynxes. This unusually tight predator-prey relationship means that when hare numbers change, so do lynx numbers (and vice versa), sometimes drastically.