January 2018 Edition | Volume 72, Issue 1
Published since 1946
FWS Moves to Delist Canada Lynx
On January 11, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it had completed a status review of Canada lynx populations and determined that the species no longer requires protection under the Endangered Species Act. As a result, the agency will be moving forward with the formal process of delisting the species. The Canada lynx was listed as threatened in 2000 due to a lack of certainty over conservation of habitat on federal public lands, where the majority of lynx habitat is found within the lower 48 states. The U.S. Forest Service has now amended forest management plans in the Rocky Mountain region to include conservation measures for the lynx. In addition, private landowners in Maine have voluntarily entered into conservation easements on woodlands protecting nearly 2.5 million acres of habitat. The status review evaluated these habitat considerations as well as snowshoe hare population dynamics, climate change, forest ecology, and other factors. The scientific experts on the review panel concluded that the lynx is not at risk of extinction for the foreseeable future. The next step will be for the FWS to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register in order to receive and review public comments on the decision.