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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

The ebb and flow of the Canadian Lynx/Snowshoe Hare dance is playing out as it has for millenia up in the Yukon........The Lynx "high cycle" has the "big webbed" cat at a high population level just as their key prey, the Hare is starting to decrease in population numbers........As most of us know, this "high/low cycle" tends to play itself out this way roughly every 10 years, a true natural phenomena!

Yukon lynx populations peaking as snowshoe hare start to decline

Lynx can have up to 8 young when the bunnies are abundant, as they are now

By Karen McColl, CBC News Posted: Mar 12, 2016 9:00 AM CT Last Updated: Mar 12, 2016 10:25 AM CT

The size of a lynx family photographed on the Haines Road earlier this week fits with the cat's current population cycles, according to an Environment Yukon biologist. 
Earlier this week, photos of a lynx and her five young sunning themselves captured the of attention on social media.

Stan and Melody McKenzie captured this image of a
 lynx family when they were driving the Haines Road 
on Monday. (Submitted by Melody McKenzie)
Stan and Melody McKenzie captured this image of a lynx family when they were driving the Haines Road on Monday.
Carnivore biologist Ramona Maraj said lynx can have up to eight kits, when the snowshoe hare, their main prey, are abundant.
"We're coming into what's known as a lynx high. Lynx cycle every 10 years with snowshoe hare. It's one of the more famous ecological phenomena," she said in an interview on CBC's A New Day. 
In low years, Maraj said lynx may have just one or two offspring. 

Some 'messiness' to the cycle

Maraj said the snowshoe hare populations have recently peaked and are now starting to collapse. Lynx populations usually lag by a year or two, meaning that their numbers may start to decline next year.  
Lynx are cryptic animals that are not often seen, says carnivore biologist. (Submitted by Melody McKenzie)
But Maraj said the cycle is actually quite complex, with factors like climate change playing a role. Sometimes, lynx will move off of hare and start eating squirrel, grouse and ptarmigan. 
"There's a little bit of messiness to it, but for the most part we do see a strong 10-year signal [cycle]."
She said the majority of research on lynx cycles has been done near Kluane Lake.
"It's pretty neat that such an amazing ecological phenomenon ... is studied here in the Yukon."

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