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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

August 10, 1999
Diane Katzenberger (303) 236-7917 ext 408
Lori Nordstrom (406) 449-5225 ext 208

Science Report on Lynx Conservation Made Available Public Comment Period Reopened

Available chapters of a scientific report concerning lynx conservation in the contiguous United States are being made available for public review and comment. The report contains new biological information that the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will consider when making its final decision on its proposal to list the Canada lynx as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Service is reopening the public comment period until September 24, 1999.

The report is being completed by a team of scientists led by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. It is a comprehensive compilation and assessment of historic and current lynx occurrence records and distribution, scientific literature, lynx and prey ecology, habitat correlation's, and threats to the continued existence of lynx.

"The Service wants to ensure all available significant information on the status of the lynx is considered before making its final determination on whether or not to extend Endangered Species Act protection to them," said Ralph Morgenweck, Director of the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region. "After analyzing and evaluating the science report and public comments, we will make our final decision by January 8, 2000."

The entire report is not yet complete, so only chapters that have been finalized are available. They can be viewed and retrieved from the internet at http://www.fs.fed.us/r1. Additional chapters are expected to be available throughout the next month and will be posted to this internet site. If you are unable to obtain the report through the internet, please call the Service’s Montana Field Office at (406) 449-5225.

Written comments on this report must be postmarked or e-mailed by September 24 to the Field Supervisor, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Field Office, 100 N. Park Avenue, Suite 320, Helena, Montana 59601; or e-mail: lynx@fws.gov.

The notice announcing the reopening of the comment period for the Canada lynx will be published in the Federal Register next week.

The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), the only lynx in North America, is a secretive forest-dwelling cat of northern latitudes and high mountains. It feeds primarily on small mammals and birds, and is especially dependent on snowshoe hare for prey. It was historically found throughout much of Canada, the forests of northern tier States, and subalpine forests of the central and southern Rockies.

For further information about Canada lynx, please visit the Service's web site at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/species/mammals/lynx

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management assistance offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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