In addition to lynx, Slovenian forests are home to wildcats, the domesticated relatives of of which are the well-known domestic cats. All three species are a part of the cat family (Felidae); however, there are significant differences between them. We can easily recognize a lynx by the pronounced tufts on its ears, the fur's characteristic pattern and its size. Its tail is short, has a black tip and can be up to 30 cm long. A wildcat has a significantly longer and furrier tail, with characteristic rings and black spots. Both wild species avoid humans, and we rarely meet them in nature. They are rarely spotted in nature, since they can quickly detect human presence and withdraw.
The lynx's feet are wide and act as snowshoes. Its claws are hidden in the skinfolds of the finger pads. This allows it to approach its prey silently. It also keeps its claws sharp, which comes in handy when it needs to subdue its prey. We only see round paws in the footprints in the snow or mud, never claws.
Lynx are solitary animals. However, they constantly communicate amongst themselves and mark their territory (they usually rub themselves on tree stumps, prominent rocks and even corners of mountain huts).
The lynx needs large, continuous forest areas to live and plays an important role in the ecosystem as the apex predator. It mostly hunts roedeer, and deer and rodents less often. Lynx and wolves regulate the number of herbivores and influence their behaviour, thus changing the way herbivores use their habitat. The constant presence of the lynx in the forest is a sign of a healthy and rich forest ecosystem.