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Canada lynx no longer threatened by extinction: U.S. wildlife agency

From Reuters - January 11, 2018

PINEDALE, Wyo. (Reuters) - The Canada lynx, a wild cat found in just a handful of mostly western U.S. states as well as Canada, no longer needs federal protection from extinction in the Lower 48 states, U.S. wildlife officials said on Thursday, sparking an outcry from conservationists.

The finding is one step in a process that will see the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally propose removing Canada lynx from the federal endangered and threatened species list. There is no timeline for when such a plan would be floated, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Strickland told Reuters in an email.

Conservationists said it was mystifying how the Trump administration determined the lynx has recovered and should be delisted since the Fish and Wildlife Service doesnt know how many of the wild cats there are where they are protected in the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere.

Conservationists say stripping protections from Canada lynx, listed in 2000 in the Lower 48 states, would lead to its demise where it is found in parts of Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana and Washington. The lynx is not considered imperiled where it is found in Alaska or Canada.

This spells disaster for lynx, Michael Garrity, head of Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said by telephone.

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