EURASIAN LYNX (Lynx lynx)
Also known as: Common lynx, Northern lynx.
Conservation status: Least concern
Size: The adult Eurasian Lynx is 31 to 55 inches long from the head to the base of the tail; the tail adds a further 4 – 10 inches. It weighs roughly between 12.5 – 25 kg.
Colour and markings: Fawn yellow grey to light brown with reddish brown or dark brown spots.
Distribution: The Eurasian lynx inhabits forest and scrubland regions of Western Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Iran, Iraq, and Asia.
Prey: Wild pigs, beavers, rabbits, birds, deer.
Threats: Fur trade.
CAT-FACT: The Eurasian lynx is one of the widest ranging cats in the world and can be found in the forests of western Europe, Russia and central Asia.
EUROPEAN / SCOTTISH WILD CAT (Felis silvestris)
Also known as: Highland Tiger (Scottish), wild cat.
Conservation status: Critically Endangered (Scottish).
Size: The adult Scottish Wild cat is 18 to 25 inches long from the head to the base of the tail; the tail adds a further 10 – 13 inches. It weighs roughly between 2.5 – 7.5 kg.
Colour and markings: Grey coat with tabby markings, tail will have unconnected rings rather than connected rings. They can be difficult to tell apart from a domestic cat;
The diagram below illustrates the differences between a hybrid (left) and a true Scottish wildcat (right).
Distribution: Scotland (Scottish Wildcat) Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, Moldova (European Wildcat)
Prey: Rabbits and other small mammals, birds.
Threats: A decline in rabbit numbers due to myxomatosis has almost wiped out the Scottish wildcat. In the rest of Europe cross breeding with domestic cats threaten numbers.
CAT-FACT: The last documented sighting of a wildcat on English soil took place in 1849.
IBERIAN LYNX (Lynx pardinus)
Conservation status: Critically endangered (estimates only 500 left in the wild)
Size: The adult Iberian Lynx is 28 to 38 inches long from the head to the base of the tail; the tail adds a further 4 – 5 inches. It weighs roughly between 9 – 16 kg.
Colour and markings: Pale yellow beige to light reddish brown coat with with dark spots and bars.
Distribution: Parts of Southern and Central Spain and Eastern Portugal.
Prey: Rodents, Birds and Rabbits.
Threats: Habitat loss, Pouching, poisoning and Road casualties.
CAT-FACT: If the Iberian lynx were to become extinct, it would be the first big cat species to do so since Smilodon populator 10,000 years ago.