SCIENCE

State of Idaho Sued over Accidental Canada Lynx Trappings

  • Doug Horn , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Jul, 01, 2014, 11:45 AM
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The state of Idaho is being sued from five separate environmental groups due to inadvertently catching Canada lynx during recreational trapping.

The Canada lynx is a threatened species whose population in the United States is estimated to only be in the hundreds. The lawsuit asserts that the state of Idaho is in violation of the Endangered Species Act by permitting recreational trapping that sometimes causes a lynx to be trapped, Boise Weekly reported.

"Idaho can't just ignore federal law and go on condoning the trapping of this rare and magnificent cat," Amy Atwood of the Center for Biological Diversity said.

The environmental groups which are suing Idaho are Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians and Western Environmental Law Center. They believe Idaho needs to apply for an "incidental take" permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow recreational trapping.

According to Auto World News, "With nearly 2,000 licenses issued in 2012-'13, the groups say that an incidental take permit is necessary to protect the lynx as trapping becomes more popular. Additionally, the conservation advocates are pushing for a plan from the state Department of Fish and Game to place regulations on certain types of snares and traps as well as requirements for daily trap checks in lynx habitats."

"Idaho officials need to understand that a healthy Idaho population of this mountain cat is critical, not just to lynx survival here, but across the western United States," said Travis Bruner, executive director of the Western Watershed Project. "We have to maintain a healthy breeding mix between Rockies and Canadian populations, and Idaho sits at the crossroads."

The requirement will only be issued if officials decide that an incidental take permit is needed to trap other animals and that the Canada lynx population will not be harmed even if one is caught once in a while.

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