In the northern parts of Canada, its population can be estimated from the records kept from the number caught each year for its fur. Records have been kept by the Hudson's Bay Company and Canadian government since the 1730s. A graph of its abundance is characterized by huge rises and falls with the peaks occurring at a level typically ten times higher than the troughs and about 5 years after them, and the process then reversing itself.
This lynx is a specialist predator, eating snowshoe hare almost exclusively when they are available. The population variation of the lynx and the hare is an example of a predator-prey cycle. Environmental factors such as weather and forest plant growth that may affect this population variation have been studied. A number of other species that are unrelated to either animal, as far as food chains are concerned, show population cycles of similar lengths. These include abundance of Atlantic salmon, chinch bugs in Illinois, the tent caterpillar, the coyote, hawk owl eggs, grouse, martens, minks, the muskrat, the fisher and hawks.
The Canada Lynx is trapped for its fur and has declined in many areas due to habitat loss, and the IUCN lists them as Least Concern. On 24 March 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its Final Rule, which designated the Canada Lynx a Threatened Species in the lower 48 states. Canada Lynx-Bobcat hybrids have also been detected at the southern periphery of the current population range for lynx (Maine, Minnesota and New Brunswick) which may limit their recovery in the south.