|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
July 20, 1998
Lori Nordstrom (406) 449-5225 x 208
Sharon Rose (303) 236-7917 x 415
Fish and Wildlife Service Schedules Public Hearings in Montana on the
Proposal to List the Canada Lynx as Threatened
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold public hearings in Montana regarding the proposal to list the Canada lynx as threatened under the Endangered Species Act while including a special rule that will allow for taking and interstate transport of lawfully obtained captive-bred lynx.
In proposing to classify the lynx as threatened, the Service determined that the species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all of a significant portion of its range.
In the proposed rule, the Service cited a number of causes for the decline of lynx populations. These include: loss of modification of habitat; over trapping; inadequate regulatory mechanisms to protect habitat; increased human access to suitable habitat; and human-induced changes in habitat that have allowed other species such as bobcats and coyotes to move into lynx habitat and compete with them. Timber harvest road construction, development of skiing facilities, and urban sprawl also have affected the species.
The proposal would allow for taking lawfully obtained captive-bred lynx and for interstate transport and commerce in skins that are properly tagged with a valid export tag under the Convention for International Trade in Threatened and Endangered Species, which the Service administers in the United States.
Public hearings have been scheduled in various locations within the species range throughout the United States to provide maximum opportunities for comment. Montana public hearings are scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, July 21, 1998: Colonial Inn Best Western, 2301 Colonial Drive, Helena, Montana, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 22, 1998: Cavanaughs at Kalispell Center, 20 N. Main, Kalispell, Montana, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
There will be an information table available in the area with a biologist on hand to answer questions at both hearings.
Written comments from the public must be postmarked by September 30, 1998. Comments and material concerning this proposal should be sent to the Field Supervisor (Lynx), U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 100 North Park, Suite 320, Helena, Montana 59604. Written comments are given the same weight and consideration as are oral comments.
The Canada lynx is a medium-sized cat, similar to the bobcat, but appears somewhat larger. It has longer hind legs and very large well-furred paws, both adaptations to the deep winter snows typical throughout its range. Lynx are highly dependent on snowshoe hare, but also prey on other small mammals and birds. It also has long tufts on its ears and a short, black-tipped tail. Historically, Canada lynx are considered to have resided in 16 of the contiguous United States.
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