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08/05/2010

Canada Lynx Wins Back Critical Habitat

The Canada lynx, a wide-ranging big cat that lives in the Rocky Mountains, is one of our continent's large mammals that is the most threatened by climate change.  As the temperatures rises, its habitat continually moves higher into the mountains and thus into more isolated areas with less connectivity between them.  In 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issue a critical habitat designation for the lynx but failed to include vital portions of the Southern Rockies as well as areas of Montana and Idaho that provide high-elevation habitat.

Canada lynx
Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Sierra Club and a collection of other environmental groups sued, arguing that the FWS arbitrarily excluded those areas of necessary habitat.  Last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Donald Malloy agreed and ruled that the FWS must reconsider its final 2009 designation.  It must reexamine the lands in question in Colorado, Montana, and Idaho and propose a revised habitat designation.  If the revised designation includes the increased habitat, the lynx will have a huge win and an easier time adjusting to a warming world.

To read more about the lynx and its listing click here.

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