Black Canada Lynx caught on camera for the first time

A rare black Canada Lynx, a variation of the normally light brownish-gray species, has been captured on camera for the first time in a rural residential area near Whitehorse, Yukon. Thomas Jung, a researcher at the University of Alberta, recorded the footage, which has since gone viral. The lynx, with a distinctive black coat and whitish-gray hairs, was seen at a distance of about 50 meters before fleeing when a nearby dog barked.

Documented in the journal Mammalia under the title “Paint it black: first record of melanism in Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis),” the discovery is significant as black-colored individuals of this species had never been photographed before.

While the lynx’s coat coloration is rare and fascinating, experts suggest that it may be maladaptive as the dark hue could make the animal stand out in snowy environments, hindering its ability to camouflage while hunting in winter. Thomas Jung notes that such variations in coat colors among lynx may be adaptive or maladaptive, playing a role in their evolutionary processes.

This rare footage provides valuable insights into the diverse coat colors within the Canada Lynx species, shedding light on the adaptations and challenges faced by these elusive creatures in their natural habitat.