Canada Lynx May Be DelistedThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the completion of a scientific review of the Canada lynx in the contiguous United States. The review concludes that the Canada lynx may no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act and should be considered for delisting due to recovery.
As a result of this status review, the service will begin development of a proposed rule to delist the species.
The recommendation was informed by a recently completed, peer-reviewed species status assessment for the lynx, which compiled and evaluated the best available scientific information on the historical, current and possible future conditions for the Canada lynx. During a two-year process, the service worked closely with federal, state and academic subject matter experts to evaluate relevant scientific information on snowshoe hare population dynamics, climate change, forest ecology and other issues. Although climate change remains an important factor for the conservation of the Canada lynx, neither the service nor the experts it consulted conclude that the lynx is at risk of extinction from climate change within the foreseeable future.
The Canada lynx was listed as threatened in 2000 largely due to a lack of regulatory mechanisms on federal public lands, which is where a majority of the habitat for Canada lynx was believed to be located in the lower 48 states. Since receiving ESA protection, federal land managers throughout the lynx’s range have formally amended their management plans and implemented conservation measures to conserve the species. For example, all U.S. Forest Service land management plans in the Rocky Mountain region have been amended to include conservation measures for the Canada lynx. In addition, in Maine, private landowners have voluntarily supported working woodland easements that protect nearly 2.5 million acres of forest, benefitting the Canada lynx and other species.
For more on the Canada lynx, visit fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/canadaLynx.php.