Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Conservation groups file lawsuit against Idaho over inadvertent trapping of Canada lynx

Five environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the state of Idaho over inadvertent trapping of federally protected Canada lynx. The groups contend the state is violating the Endangered Species Act by allowing recreational trapping that inadvertently ensnares lynx. Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians and Western Environmental Law Center say the state needs an "incidental take" permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for recreational trapping to continue. The permit would only be issued if officials determine it's needed for trapping other animals, like bobcats, and that occasionally catching a lynx wouldn't harm the overall population. Canada lynx, a rarely seen predator that feeds primarily on snowshoe hares, are a threatened species believed to number in the hundreds in the continental U.S. It's unclear how many are in Idaho. "Idaho can't just ignore federal law and go on condoning the trapping of this rare and magnificent cat," Amy Atwood, with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a written release. The groups want the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to develop a conservation plan that would include restrictions on body-crushing and steel-jaw traps and snares, and reporting requirements in lynx habitats. They also want a daily trap check requirement throughout lynx habitat...more

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