SANDPOINT The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced Thursday that it is scaling back protections for Canada lynx.
According to a news release, the recommendation was made after an extensive review of the best available scientific information and nearly 20 years of working in partnership with state, federal, tribal, industry and other land managers on the conservation of this species.
As a result of this status review, the service will begin development of a proposed rule to delist the species, the agency said in a news release.
Although climate change, including decreased mountain snowpack, is "an important factor" affecting Canada lynx, they are not at risk of extinction from climate change in the foreseeable future, USA wildlife managers said in a statement. They're recommending that it be removed from the list due to recovery. Since receiving Endangered Species Act protection, federal land managers throughout the lynxs range have formally amended their management plans and implemented conservation measures to conserve the species, according to Fish & Wildlife.
The Canada lynx, a wild cat found in just a handful of mostly western USA states as well as Canada, no longer needs federal protection from extinction in the Lower 48 states, US wildlife officials said on Thursday, sparking an outcry from conservationists.
Conservationists say stripping protections from Canada lynx, listed in 2000 in the Lower 48 states, would lead to its demise where it is found in parts of Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana and Washington.
A cousin of the more common bobcat, the Canada lynx is similar in size but can be distinguished by its black-tipped tail, long tufts of black hair at the tips of its ears, and long legs with large, furry paws for hunting snowshoe hares in deep snow.