Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) are endangered in Nova Scotia and are found in only three areas in Unama’ki. One area where they are found is in the East Bay Hills, the site of a proposed wind power project that would see 31 generators constructed.
UINR has been conducting a lynx monitoring program to determine if lynx and its main prey, the snowshoe hare, are present in the area of the proposed project. UINR’s Director of Forestry Mark MacPhail and Forestry Technician Jason MacLean have been surveying the area throughout the winter. With the tracking they conducted, there is a good evidence that lynx inhabit the area.
Lynx tracks are fairly easy to distinguish from fox, coyote, and bobcat, with four toe pads on front and hind feet. While coyotes and fox prints show claws, lynx and bobcats do not. What sets apart lynx from bobcat tracks is the size of the paw print. In snow, lynx tracks are up to 11.5 cm long and 12.5 cm wide, and bobcats only 6.5 cm long and 7 cm wide.
While lynx are not at risk in Canada, in mainland Nova Scotia they are considered to be “extirpated” (locally extinct but present elsewhere.) In Unama’ki, it is estimated that the population varies from lows of 95–140 to highs of 475–525.