Tag Archives: Canada lynx

Feds begin review of Canada lynx threats

Although focused primarily on the Canada lynx situation in Maine, this article offers some useful general observations, as well . . .

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is starting a review of federally protected Canada lynx at a time when the largest population of the cats in the Lower 48 appears to be poised for a decline.

The end of clear-cutting in Maine with the Forest Practices Act of 1989 has allowed forests to fill in, taking away some of the habitat preferred by snowshoe hares upon which lynx feed, potentially reducing populations of both species, said Jim Zelenak, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Montana.

Read more . . .

Suit filed over lynx habitat

A number of conservation groups feel the feds are being too restrictive when it comes to lynx habitat designation . . .

Wildlife advocates sued the federal government Monday after it declined to designate some areas in the West as critical habitat for the imperiled Canada lynx.

WildEarth Guardians and three other groups assert that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improperly excluded the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico and Colorado from 39,000 square miles of protected habitat for the elusive, forest-dwelling wild cat.

The plaintiffs, who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Montana, also say the agency left out important habitat in portions of Washington state, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

Read more . . .

Federal lynx protection added in New Mexico, but new habitat expansions denied

Another federal decision that will leave everyone grumbling . . .

Canada lynx gained federal protections in New Mexico on Thursday, but U.S. wildlife officials again declined to designate critical habitat for the elusive animal in the Southern Rockies, parts of New England and other areas considered non-essential to their survival.

The two-part finding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service means the forest-dwelling wild cat will be protected as threatened throughout the lower 48 states. Lynx that had spread to New Mexico’s San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains after being introduced in Colorado previously were not protected.

However, officials decided that potential lynx habitat in the Southern Rockies of New Mexico, Colorado and portions of Wyoming were not areas essential to conservation of the species. As a result, lynx in the region still will be protected from hunting and trapping, but there will be less stringent reviews of human activities that could affect the dense forests they need to survive…

Also left out of the 39,000 square miles of designated critical habitat were portions or all of six national forests in Idaho and Montana, and areas with lynx in northern Vermont and northern New Hampshire.

Read more . . .

U.S. FWS awards $2M for easement on grizzly & lynx habitat on Stoltze land

This short write-up on the acquisition of a conservation easement on F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber land belies a great deal of behind the scenes work over the past few years . . .

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded the state of Montana $2 million to aid in the acquisition of a conservation easement on Haskill Basin near Whitefish.

The 3,000-acre-plus property, located next to Whitefish Mountain Resort, is the source of 75 percent of Whitefish’s municipal water supply and vital habitat for grizzly bears and Canada lynx.

F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co. owns the property.

Read more . . .

Feds: Lynx recovery plan ready by 2018

The feds are almost ready to be ready to create a lynx recovery plan . . .

U.S. wildlife officials revealed Monday that they expect to complete a recovery plan for imperiled Canada lynx in early 2018 — almost two decades after the snow-loving wild cats first received federal protections.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laid out that timetable in court documents filed as part of a federal lawsuit in Montana brought by environmentalists unhappy with prior delays.

Lynx were designated a federally protected threatened species in 2000. Since then, federal officials have repeatedly missed their own deadlines to start work on a plan to help the animals. Officials have blamed budget limitations, other species that took priority and lawsuits that challenged the government’s designation of critical habitat for the animals.

Read more . . .

Judge tells U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get off the dime on lynx recovery plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was told in federal district court to get moving on a lynx recovery plan . . .

Saying a decade was long enough, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy this week ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finish its recovery plan for the imperiled Canada lynx, giving the agency 30 days to present its proposal.

Environmental groups that sued the agency lauded the decision as a critical and long-sought win for the wild cat. FWS said it would review Molloy’s ruling and determine its next move.

“We are reviewing the judge’s decisions and working on a strategy to comply with it,” said Leith Edgar, public affairs specialist with the Mountain-Prairie Region of FWS.

Read more . . .

Idaho trappers catch unexpected lynx; researchers attach tracking collar

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is finding lynx in unexpected places . . .

State biologists have put a satellite-tracking collar on a female Canada lynx captured alive by two trappers in northern Idaho.

The trappers called the Idaho Department of Fish and Game last week after finding the 17-pound lynx in one of their traps in the West Cabinet Mountains.

The agency is in the middle of a five-year attempt to collect information on 20 little-studied creatures in the Idaho Panhandle and northeastern Washington.

“I was surprised that there were lynx in the West Cabinets,” said Michael Lucid, who’s heading up the Multi-Species Baseline Initiative for Idaho Fish and Game. “It shows us how little we know about the animals that live in our forests.”

Read more . . .

Proposed rule says current habitat ‘sufficient to conserve lynx’

The protection of Canada Lynx continues to generate controversy — this time, over habitat designation . . .

A proposed federal rule on lynx critical habitat would assume the threatened cat doesn’t need forests it doesn’t currently use.

“The (U.S. Fish and Wildlife) Service determined that currently occupied habitat is sufficient to conserve lynx,” a statement from FWS Mountain-Prairie regional director Noreen Walsh stated last week. “Therefore, the designation does not include areas not currently occupied by lynx.

The new designation would cover 41,547 square miles in Montana, Maine, Minnesota, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming.

Read more . . .

Judge blocks three more timber projects over lynx rules

More lynx-related lawsuits on the docket . . .

A federal judge this week blocked three Montana logging projects in two national forests, saying the U.S. government did not properly examine the effects the projects might have on lynx and the threatened animal’s habitat.

That makes four timber projects since May in which U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen found fault with the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ conclusion that cutting and burning in those areas would not significantly harm the big cats’ territory.

Continue reading . . .

Study focuses on elusive forest carnivores

A study is underway in the southwest Crown of the Continent ecosystem that attempts to gather more information on smaller, elusive predators such as wolverine, lynx and fisher . . .

A compact disc dangling from the branch of a lodgepole pine catches the morning sunlight and mimics the flash of a snowshoe hare, while the hindquarters of a road-kill deer wired to a nearby bear-rub tree will lure in a suite of small, elusive carnivores that range in the Swan Valley.

Wolverine, lynx and fisher will visit the “bait station,” which bristles with gun bore brushes that collect clumps of the critters’ fur. Subsequent DNA testing, to be completed this summer, will identify the individual animals and help establish a baseline for population and distribution of the three target species, as well as other small carnivores that sniff out the carrion – bobcat, coyote, fox, pine martens, and weasel.

Continue reading . . .