Baseline blood chemistry data could be particularly valuable if reference values from free-ranging populations of rare or endangered species are not available. The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in the conterminous United States, even though the species is managed as a furbearer in Alaska and in most provinces of Canada. Body mass, blood chemistry, and hematologic data for free-ranging lynx were collected from 2003 to 2007 and for captive lynx from 1984 to 2007. Up to 2 yr of age, captive lynx were consistently heavier than free-ranging lynx. Body mass of adult free-ranging lynx was similar to body mass of captive adult lynx. Some differences in blood chemistry between free-ranging and captive lynx were statistically significant, but most measured values were within reference ranges for domestic cats. Free-ranging lynx had higher concentrations of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and blood urea nitrogen than did captive lynx, and these were outside the reference value ranges for domestic cats. Alkaline phosphatase and phosphorus were higher in juveniles (<12 mo when captured) as compared to adults. Free-ranging lynx maintained body mass between serial captures. Hematologic values, blood chemistry values, and body mass of free-ranging Canada lynx provide support for the hypothesis that Canada lynx in Minnesota, at the southern edge of their range, are in normal physical condition.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1