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Canada lynx-bobcat (Lynx canadensis x L. rufus) hybrids at the southern periphery of lynx range in Maine, Minnesota and New Brunswick

Posted date: April 03, 2009
Publication Year: 
2008
Authors: Homyack, Jessica A.; Vashon, Jennifer H.; Libby, Cade; Lindquist, Edward L.; Loch, Steve; McAlpine, Donald F.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.Schwartz, Michael K.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: American Midland Naturalist. 159: 504-508.

Abstract

Hybridization between federally threatened Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) and bobcat (L. rufus) was recently documented in the United States, but little is known regarding physical characteristics of hybrids compared to parent species. We report on the morphology and physical characteristics of five of seven Canada lynx-bobcat hybrids detected near the southern extent of the lynx's geographic range in Maine, Minnesota and New Brunswick. Hybrids displayed a range of physical characteristics, including features common to both lynx and bobcat, or that were intermediate in character. Observation of an adult female hybrid with three kittens, as well as placental scars in the reproductive tract of a second animal, suggest that hybrids may be reproducing successfully. We recommend that careful measurement, recording and photographing of key characteristics as well as genetic analysis of suspected lynx-bobcat hybrids be priorities for natural resource agencies where hybridization between these species may occur.

Citation

Homyack, Jessica A.; Vashon, Jennifer H.; Libby, Cade; Lindquist, Edward L.; Loch, Steve; McAlpine, Donald F.; Pilgrim, Kristine L.; Schwartz, Michael K. 2008. Canada lynx-bobcat (Lynx canadensis x L. rufus) hybrids at the southern periphery of lynx range in Maine, Minnesota and New Brunswick. American Midland Naturalist. 159: 504-508.