For Immediate Release
December 10, 2014
Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511
Maine Audubon Expresses Concern over Second Lynx Killing
The wildlife conservation group praises Maine DIFW for taking steps to prevent additional deaths
Falmouth – Maine Audubon, the state’s largest wildlife conservation organization, has expressed concern over the second killing this year of the federally threatened Canada lynx. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently approved an incidental take permit (ITP) for Canada lynx, which allows up to three lynx to be killed in traps over the 15-year course of the permit.
“The fact that two lynx have already been killed this year is very troubling,” noted Jenn Burns Gray, Maine Audubon’s staff attorney and advocate. “Given the lack of population data on Canada lynx in Maine and the impacts of climate change, we are disappointed that USFWS issued the ITP in the first place. The two fatalities demonstrate that the ITP wasn’t strong enough. USFWS should have taken a more precautionary approach, one that allows trapping to continue with more rigorous standards ensuring minimal impact on lynx.”
This second killing has led the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) to implement an emergency trapping rule, which bans the use of most lethal traps and above-ground foot hold traps throughout northern Maine. “We are very pleased that DIFW has taken swift action to ban lethal and foot hold traps that are known to incidentally capture and harm lynx,” noted Charles Gauvin, Executive Director at Maine Audubon. “The Department is working quickly to help prevent further deaths of this threatened species.”
The two recent lynx killings underscore the need to strengthen the ITP’s protections. One of the major issues with the ITP is that it relies on self-reporting of captured lynx from trappers. DIFW should help trappers by playing a more active role in monitoring traps. One approach would be to require third-party checks on all trap lines where lynx could be caught.
Canada Lynx are protected in Maine under the federal Endangered Species Act because of their small population size. Lynx are top predators that require large patches of unfragmented boreal forest to feed, rest and raise their young. They thrive in cold, snowy conditions, where their large paws and thick fur help them endure the long winter months chasing their favorite prey, the snowshoe hare.
About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.
Conserving Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.
Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
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