Online Messenger #271
The Canada lynx is one of Idaho’s coolest cats and among the rarest of wild felines in the United States, but that hasn’t prevented them from being caught in recreational fur-trappers body-crushing traps and snares. At least three have been killed or caught by bobcat trappers in the last two years.
Because the lynx is protected as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), any trapping is illegal. An agency permitting such trapping violates the ESA unless it has an approved plan that avoids or reduces “incidental take” or unintentional harm to the species. Idaho Department of Fish and Game lacks such a permit, and today, Western Watersheds Project and our allies sent the state a Notice of Intent to Sue if it doesn’t start protecting lynx and complying with the ESA in the next 60 days.
The threats to lynx from trapping just add to the issues this species is facing; the species is specially-adapted to feed on snowshoe-hares (video) and to survive in cold weather. With rising temperatures and reduced snowpack under climate change, the lynx is already losing important habitat. Accidentally killing them in traps is an unnecessary – and unacceptable – harm to the species already at risk.