Canadian Lynx Removed from Endangered Species Status?
The Canadian Lynx is a part of Pagosa Country living in the higher elevations along the Continental Divide. This new ruling may have long lasting meaning to the lynx and to The Village at Wolf Creek.
The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a medium-sized cat characterized by its long ear tufts, flared facial ruff, and short, bobbed tail with a completely black tip. It has unusually large paws that act like snowshoes in very deep snow, thick fur and long legs, and its hind legs are longer than its front legs, giving lynx a stooped appearance.
Canada lynx look similar to bobcats, but there are some distinguishing features: bobcats have shorter tufts on their ears, the tip of their tail is black on top and white underneath, and bobcats have shorter legs and smaller feet than lynx. Perhaps the biggest distinction is that lynx mostly occur only in northern states along the Canadian border or in mountainous regions, while bobcats range across almost the entire lower 48 states.
Lynx, like other forest hunters, play an important ecological role. As a mid-size carnivore, lynx target smaller prey species that reproduce relatively quickly. They also require a mixed habitat that includes younger forests with thick vegetation for hunting small prey, and older forests with a full canopy and good cover for denning. By protecting lynx, we’re also protecting these rare and dwindling habitats that comprise some of the most pristine wilderness remaining in the U.S.
Canada lynx look similar to bobcats, but there are some distinguishing features: bobcats have shorter tufts on their ears, the tip of their tail is black on top and white underneath, and bobcats have shorter legs and smaller feet than lynx. Perhaps the biggest distinction is that lynx mostly occur only in northern states along the Canadian border or in mountainous regions, while bobcats range across almost the entire Lower 48 states.
Lynx mate during the winter, and the females give birth once a year. Lynx do not create a den site – they locate their kittens under an existing feature, such as a downed log, root system, or simple ground depression surrounded by dense vegetation. Without the presence of kittens, the actual den site is often not distinguishable from its natural surroundings. Kittens stay with their mother for the first year while they learn to hunt. The male lynx does not help with rearing young. Yearling females may give birth during periods when hares are abundant. While mothers have an average of 4 kittens when there is a periodic abundance of snowshoe hares, they have smaller litters the rest of the time, when fewer hares are available.
Fish and Wildlife Services alters Canada lynx assessment to support delisting
The species and its habitat are threatened by climate change, logging, development, motorized access and trapping, which disturb and fragment the snow cat’s habitat. Canada lynx rely heavily on snowshoe hare, and like their preferred prey, are specially adapted to living in mature boreal forests with dense cover and deep snowpack.
The Service first listed lynx as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2000. However, at that time the Service failed to protect any lynx habitat, impeding the species’ survival and recovery. Lynx habitat received no protection until 2006, and that initial critical habitat designation fell short of meeting the rare cat’s needs and the ESA’s standards. After two additional lawsuits brought by conservationists challenging the Service’s critical habitat designations culminated in 2008 and 2010, a district court in Montana left the agency’s lynx habitat protection in place while remanding it to the Service for improvement. This resulted in the most recent and still inadequate habitat designation.