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Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Canada Lynx in Maine

MAINE — A federal district court will hear arguments tomorrow against the US Fish and Wildlife Service for allowing trappers to injure and kill endangered lynx.

“Each year Maine trappers targeting coyotes, foxes, bobcat and other wildlife unintentionally kill and seriously injure Canada lynx, one of the rarest cats in the United States. Because lynx are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the state cannot authorize such “incidental” harm to lynx without an “incidental take permit” issued by the USFWS. The lawsuit challenges the USFWS’ permit issued to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife covering the state’s trapping programs.”

“The lawsuit argues that Maine’s trapping programs violate both the Endangered Species Act, which requires that harm to lynx be minimized and mitigated, and the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires a proper analysis of environmental impacts.”

“Other states are looking to this precedent-setting case to determine whether they need to modify their trapping programs to protect endangered wildlife,” said Collette Adkins, an attorney and biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “I’m hopeful that the court will recognize that the US Fish and Wildlife Service unreasonably refused to require Maine’s trapping programs to make commonsense changes to protect lynx from traps.”

Full article here.

Photo by Carl Robidoux

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