Silver norwegian forest cat



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Silver norwegian forest cat

Silver norwegian forest cat

the silver norwegian forest cat (unofficially also known as the silver forest cat) is a lynx subspecies (of the cat genus) native to a few areas in Scandinavia and northern Russia. These individuals are usually very tawny in coloration, and show little to no white, aside from the underside of the tl and the tip of the ears. The silver norwegian forest cat may also have patches of white on the tips of their toes and the insides of their ears.

The silver norwegian forest cat is often recognized by its dark, silver-tipped tl and hindquarters, and its silvery-blue eyes. It is most often found in coniferous forests, but has also been sighted in deciduous and mixed forest areas. This is a solitary cat, and it does not interact well with people, but will remn in and near its home range. Silver norwegian forest cats have occasionally been seen in captivity.

Contents

A young silver norwegian forest cat

Life and reproduction

Silver norwegian forest cats are diurnal (active during the day), solitary (they live and hunt alone), and territorial, and will stay in one area for most of their lives. They can live anywhere from six to thirteen years. This allows them to be more than twice as old as the average lynx. They have two to four litters a year, and each litter usually consists of two kittens. During the first few months after birth, kittens stay in their mother's den, which is usually a burrow. Their eyes are open at birth, and they reach sexual maturity within two years of birth.

Subspecies

As mentioned above, the silver norwegian forest cat is a subspecies of the Lynx rufus species. It was first described in the 1859 publication Mammals of North America by Edward Drinker Cope. It is one of seven different subspecies of Lynx rufus.

In the United States, the subspecies L. r. silfversteinii was designated the official federal subspecies in 1994. It was found only in North Carolina and the adjacent portions of South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. This area was thought to represent a relict population of lynx until DNA studies in 2007 produced evidence that the population was connected to the large population found in Europe.

The subspecies L. r. ocalaensis, which was first described in 1876, lives in the same area as the silver norwegian forest cat.

Diet

Like other lynx, silver norwegian forest cats are solitary hunters that will remn in the same area for most of their lives. Because of this, they are thought to be primarily predators of mice, voles, and shrews. Like other lynx, they are well-adapted to survive on these prey species. They are the largest lynx in Europe.

Reproduction

The silver norwegian forest cat usually breeds from April to July. Females are known to mate as early as March. If an unfthful female shows interest in breeding, the male will reject her. Once this happens, the female will mate with another male and have the same litter as she had with the first.

Gestation is thought to last about 75 days. The female will give birth in a den, although occasionally it will occur in the den of a male or another cat. Her litter will consist of 1 to 5 kittens. Kittens are born with short, downy fur.

This species is thought to be the most sexually promiscuous of any cat in Europe.

Relationship with humans

Like most lynx, the silver norwegian forest cat is not aggressive and is not considered a threat to people. In fact, it is thought to be quite protective of people. A study at the University of Helsinki found that, when humans were removed from a den, the female would begin to spend more time hunting and less time in the den. She also would begin to be interested in breeding with other males. At this point, the male would stop harassing people.

The Forest Service recommends that everyone who encounters a cat should be on the lookout for a den. If a den is found, the cat should be relocated to a location where it will not harm the cat. If not found, the cat should be released. It is also thought that this cat has a strong aversion to loud noises such as thunder. Therefore, if it is located near where it can hear a gunshot, it is recommended that the person shooting release the cat from the area and allow it to continue hunting.

Conservation

The silver norwegian forest cat is the most commonly encountered lynx in Norway. It has few threats to its survival. In recent years, it has adapted well to human developments in its territory. However, the Forest Service also reports that many Norwegian lynx in populated areas do not seem to feel as secure in these areas as the cat did in the past. Thus, human development could adversely affect the cat’s population. Also, there is a concern that the cat may compete with the gray wolf (Canis lupus) for resources and space.

The Forest Service recommends that people keep their distance from the cats. If it is determined that a cat needs to be captured, tranquilization should be attempted first. In order to do this, the cat should be caught by hand, restrned by a leash, and tranquilized by an injection of a sedative. When this is done, it is extremely important to put the cat down in a safe location. This cat may be returned to the person who caught it if the cat remns calm. If the cat does not remn calm, the cat should be released immediately and left alone.

This cat is the only large cat known to occur in Norway. Since its discovery in 1966, there has been no documentation of other large lynx in the wild.

References

Category:Lynx

Category:Mammals described in 1967

Category:Endemic fauna of Norway

Category:Mammals of Europe

Category:Fauna of Greenland


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