Although historical records suggest that Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) have been present in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem since at least 1893, recent surveys indicate the species is now rare and spotty in distribution. In 2000, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the lynx as "threatened" in the lower 48 states. Much of the park and surrounding area is considered much of the critical habitat for the species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Lynx habitat in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is often fragmented and generally limited to conifer forests above 7,700 feet where the distribution of its primary prey, snowshoe hare, is patchy and often insufficient to support lynx residency and reproduction.The lower quality habitat means home ranges in this ecosystem are larger than those farther north, with lynx traveling long distances between foraging sites.
Quick Facts about Lynx in Yellowstone
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.