Officials Propose Making Parts of Wyoming into a Refuge for Canada Lynx
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a $31 million recovery plan for Canada lynx to help protect their populations. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services have said that warming temperatures are threatening the wildcats' habitat and primary food sources including snow hares.
The Canada lynx is one of three wild felids native to Wyoming, the others being bobcats and mountain lions. However, in recent years, lynx sightings are extremely rare in Wyoming and the Game and Fish says their presence has not been confirmed in a number of years.
The recovery plan aims to protect 95% of the lynx habitat in the lower 48 states and suggests that Yellowstone become a refuge for the wild cats -- 96% of the Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming, only 3% is in Montana and 1% in Idaho.
Currently there is an estimated 1,100 lynx in the United States with the largest populations in the northeastern part of the country and the upper Rockies. Climates that are most suitable for them are Alaska and Canada.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will need to draft a plan by November 2024 if they are to pursue the recovery plan with government fundind.
The news comes just two days after the Biden administration announced protections for the North American Wolverine in response to scientists' warnings that climate change poses a dangerous threat to the species.
The public now has 60 days to submit comments, through Jan. 30, 2024, at CanadaLynxRPComments@fws.gov. The Service is particularly interested in information about existing threats, ongoing management initiatives, and other factors related to implementing the proposed recovery actions outlined in the plan.