The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is receiving comments on the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife’s (DIFW) request for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) that would allow DIFW to continue its trapping program, putting the federally threatened Canada lynx at risk.
Maine Audubon strongly opposes the issuance of an Incidental Take Permit.
Please submit written comments opposing the Incidental Take Permit to USFW by this Friday, September 5.
The Canada lynx is on the federal endangered species list as threatened. Maine is home to a lynx population – mostly in northern Maine. Although the current trapping program does not target lynx for capture, it puts both individual lynx at risk and potentially the Maine population at risk. Traps can unintentionally harm or kill lynx. Such incidents have been documented and, we believe, are underreported.
DIFW has submitted the ITP as required by the Endangered Species Act. If approved, the ITP would authorize the capture or kill of lynx as a result of the state’s furbearer trapping program. DIFW’s proposed ITP requests permission over the next 15 years for up to 195 lynx to be captured or trapped, with up to 3 of those killed and an unknown number injured or harassed. Between 1999 and 2013, 84 lynx have been incidentally trapped in Maine.
DIFW is not proposing to utilize the traps recommended by the existing Best Management Practices or to impose other available conservation measures. The ITP does not minimize and mitigate harmful effects on lynx by trapping to the maximum extent practicable as required by the Federal Endangered Species Act. It should be denied.
We urge you to submit written comments to USFWS urging denial of the ITP. Written comments may be submitted until this Friday, September 5 electronically (comment box on upper right of the page).