Image-of-the-Week: Lynx

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TK Caption: TK creditCanada lynx. Credit: kdee64 / Keith Williams via Wikimedia Commons.

The lynx (Lynx canadensis) of North America’s boreal and upper montane forests preys almost exclusively—up to 97 percent of its diet—on snowshoe hares. With its high hind quarters and huge feet, this “snow cheetah” is built for speed. But even it may not be swift enough to keep up with the changes underway in its sub-Arctic and Arctic world—both disproportionately slammed by global warming. A paper in this week’s Science reports the unexpected—and accelerating—speed of range shifts underway. Globally, species are now moving to higher ground at a median rate of 11.0 meters/36 feet per decade and to higher latitudes at a rate of 16.9 kilometers/10.5 miles per decade—faster than even a decade ago. For the northernmost lynx, the next stop is the Arctic Ocean.

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