The natural habitat of the Canada lynx includes not only the country it was named after but also such territories as Alaska and some parts of the northern U.S. Although it is listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, the Canada lynx’s position is not so easy to define, and its future as a species in the U.S. is, in fact, very uncertain. Still, despite the lynx’s vulnerable position, the Trump administration wants to remove federal protections for the species.
In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) designated the Canada lynx a Threatened Species in the southern-most 48 states. According to a Care2 petition launched in the case, it is now endangered in its U.S. range of Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, and Washington.
In 2016, the USFWS stated that the lynx is “very unlikely” to survive beyond 2100 in the U.S.
Following the findings, a federal court ruled that the USFWS and the Forest Service need to take more serious steps to protect the species and its precious habitat in the country.
The Canada lynx’s difficult situation is due to over-trapping and habitat loss. The lynx’s habitat is being fragmented by logging, fire suppression, road construction, recreational developments, and urbanization, Endangered Species Coalition explains. Because of that loss, the lynxes have been pushed into the last remaining wild areas within their habitat in the U.S.
What is more, the species is especially at risk when it comes to climate change, since it depends on high elevation habitat with cold and snowy winters. For an animal whose numbers, in four of their five U.S. habitat areas, are declining, a reversal of their protections will have severely negative results and it is a deeply irresponsible step that simply should not be taken – especially since there is no real reason for it. It is only with federal protections that the Canada lynx can be guaranteed a lasting survival as a species, especially due to its vulnerability to global warming.
Click here to sign the petition to the USFWS and the Interior Department to not ignore science and, instead, follow the judges’ ruling and keep the Canada lynx under federal protection!
Image source: GenDesilets/Pixabay