The Rare Black Lynx

A special species of lynx, called the Canada Lynx or Lynx canadensis, is native to North America, including Canada and parts of the United States. These lynx typically have a light brownish-gray fur coat, but there have been reports of black-furred individuals as well.

Incredibly, a black-colored Canada Lynx had never been photographed until 2022, when a lucky person captured some images that quickly went viral. The animal was spotted and photographed by a researcher at the University of Alberta, Canada. Thomas Jung, an employee of the Government of Yukon, recorded a video of the animal on his cell phone.

The amazing discovery of the black lynx was documented in an article titled “Paint it black: first record of melanism in Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)” in the journal Mammalia. The black lynx was spotted in a rural residential neighborhood near the Yukon metropolis of Whitehorse. In the video, the lynx can be seen relaxing at a distance of about 50 meters, while nearby people and a dog go about their business. Eventually, the lynx fled when the dog started barking.

Canada Lynx are known for their solitary and reclusive nature, making it difficult to observe and study them closely. Despite this, experts were able to identify the black-coated animal as a Canada lynx, although many distinguishing features were hard to make out in the shaky video.

According to Thomas Jung’s report, the lynx had a black coat with whitish gray guard hairs throughout, as well as whitish gray hairs in the facial ruff and other regions. Most lynx species have similar coloring, with Canada lynx being known for their silvery gray coats in winter and reddish brown coats in summer.

The lynx captured on camera is an extremely rare specimen due to the wide range of coat colors it possesses. Jung explains that such variations in coat color often occur as adaptations that can be either helpful or harmful to an animal’s evolution. In this case, he considers the black coat color to be maladaptive because it lacks the essential camouflage that would help the lynx blend in with its snowy surroundings during winter hunting.

It’s truly remarkable that such a unique creature was finally caught on camera. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!