Wildlife Officials May Expand Lynx Habitat

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes expanding critical habitat for the threatened Canada lynx.

Posted: March 8 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Wildlife Officials May Expand Lynx Habitat
A new proposal would expand habitat for the Canada lynx in six states.
A new proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would expand critical habitat for the Canada lynx from 1,841 miles to 42,753 miles in six states. The habitat would stretch across national parks in Minnesota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Maine, The Associated Press reports.

The proposed expansion would be comprised of 58 percent federal land, 30 percent private land and 12 percent land owned by state, tribal and other owners. Under the new proposal, federal agencies would need to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before engaging in activities on the land that could affect the Canada lynx.

While environmentalists and researchers believe the proposal is a step in the right direction, some question why it does not include proposed habitats in Colorado, where lynx have been reintroduced since 1999. “It looks like they have left out important areas,” Michael Senatore, director of the biodiversity program for the Center of Biological Diversity, told The Associated Press. “There’s nothing in the southern Rockies. That’s problematic given there are lynx there.”

A critical habitat designation is crucial to lynx recovery in Colorado and the southern Rockies, said Joshua Pollock, conservation director for the Center for Native Ecosystems. “Their habitat continues to get logged, cut up by development. Lynx are run over on highways, accidentally trapped and shot,” he said. “We need to see critical habitat taken seriously in the southern Rockies. [The] proposal is definitely a blow to that need.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it did not include habitat in Colorado because it is uncertain that the lynx population there would sustain itself. The service will accept public comments on the proposal until April 28; a final decision could take up to a year.

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Reader Comments

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

3/11/2008 5:10:25 AM

Great article. I hope this happens. We need to learn to live better with our wildlife population. What a beautiful animal.

Leyna    chesterfield, MO

3/9/2008 8:34:42 PM

i think that this is progress but the dessicsion should be made quiker and include coorado also
the lynx is so beautiful let's hope it can make a come back like th ebald egale

Peggy    Jackson, MS

3/9/2008 4:50:51 PM

A nice big cat!!

Ruthann    Crossville, TN

3/9/2008 4:22:39 PM

Great news for the Canada lynx! I just hope they will go over the proposal, again and include some land in Colorado.

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