On the slopes of a powdery white mountain, all is still. The trees murmur, huddled against the cold. Pink streaks of light smear the sky as the sun dips behind the forest, drawing darkness across the earth. While most animals prepare to sleep, the Eurasian lynx emerges for a prowl.

This is the largest species of lynx, with males weighing up to 30 kilograms and measuring around 70 centimetres in height. A near-silent spectre which haunts the forests of Europe and Asia, these cats pad across the ground with large furry paws. Their natural snowshoes make for easy navigation over snowy or rocky terrain. Equipped with tufted ears to hear the slightest sound and piercing eyesight that can spot a mouse up to 80 metres away, the Eurasian lynx is built for detecting its prey. Small deer, hares, and birds all form part of the big cat’s meaty diet.

These creatures are dressed for stealth too, with each costume matching the demands of the moment. Depending on where they live in a mountain range, a lynx’s thick pelt changes colour to blend in with their surroundings. Leaving the frosty northern ridges means less snow, more dirt, and a deeper brown than winter’s shimmering silver-grey coat. The Eurasian lynx may be fashion-conscious, but they are certainly not conspicuous – solitary animals, they can go undetected by humans in a region for years.

Despite this, the Eurasian lynx population was nearly decimated to meet the demand of the fur trade in the last century. Numbers dropped as low as 700. But since strict regulation and outlawing of hunting has been introduced by CITES, these apex predators have soared ten-fold in their numbers. With rigorous policy, hope is rising for these noble creatures.