Home / World News / Trump administration takes steps to remove a threatened lynx from the endangered species list – The Denver Post

Trump administration takes steps to remove a threatened lynx from the endangered species list – The Denver Post

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it’s moving to strike the Canada lynx from the endangered species list, despite a 2016 assessment concluding the species will die out in its northern range by the end of the century without federal protection.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had initially said it was “very unlikely” that resident lynx populations would survive until 2100 “in all of the geographic units that currently support them.” The assessment in the waning weeks of the Obama administration had warned “that resiliency will be substantially diminished because of reduced population sizes and distributions.”

Last October, the Trump administration came to a somewhat different conclusion. It expressed confidence the animals would survive through 2050 – though officials said they could not be certain of the lynx’s fate in its sprawling range across Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Colorado, Idaho and Washington.

“Resident lynx populations are very likely to persist in [the territories] that currently support them in the near-term,” which the 2017 document identified as seven years away.

“Given the outcome of this analysis,” a statement Thursday said, “the service will not at this time be completing a recovery plan for the Canada lynx.”

While it said the delisting recommendation “does not remove or negate the Endangered Species Act protections currently in place for the Canada lynx,” the decision does trigger a process to end them. The first step would be for Fish and Wildlife to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register, then take public comments and finally draft a final decision.

Canada lynx, a cousin of the bobcat, were listed as threatened in 2000 as logging, motorized vehicles and development invaded their habitat at a time when there were no federal regulations protecting them. In addition, the animals were being trapped for their furs. In the 17 years since, federal and state officials have worked to increase populations through land management.

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