Northeast Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Wildlife agencies announce request for lynx permit

Public invited to comment on draft plan for Maine trapping program

November 8, 2011


USFWS, Meagan Racey, 413-253-8558/413-658-4386
MDIFW, Walter Jakubas, 207-941-4471

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MAINE – The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a permit to authorize incidental take of federally protected Canada lynx resulting from the state-regulated trapping program.

The Service invites the public to comment on MDIFW’s draft incidental take plan, a requirement for the permit. The Service also invites comment on its draft environment assessment for MDIFW’s application.

The Canada lynx, a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, is a secretive forest-dwelling cat of northern latitudes and high mountains. Credit: USFWS
Karner blue butterfly

The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to “take”—meaning trap, capture, harass, harm or kill—federally threatened or endangered wildlife, such as the threatened Canada lynx. Some legal activities, such as trapping, have the risk of incidentally taking protected species. An incidental take permit allows for those activities to continue, as long as the permittee undertakes reasonable and practical measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate take of listed species.

“The incidental take permit that MDIFW has applied for should provide assurance to Maine's trapping community and the general public that trappers can continue to pursue their avocation in northern Maine without detriment to the state's lynx population,” said Wally Jakubas, MDIFW Mammal Group leader.

Incidental take plans, known also as habitat conservation plans, identify the impacts to wildlife from a project or program; the steps the applicant will take to reduce or compensate for such impacts; what alternative actions were considered; and how conservation efforts will be funded.

“Habitat conservation plans provide frameworks for partnerships in endangered species conservation,” said Paul Phifer, assistant regional director for the Service’s Northeast Region Ecological Services program. “The measures in this plan will help both agencies continue to protect lynx across the state for the benefit of future generations.”

The Service and MDIFW will hold informational sessions on the draft plan and related assessment in December:

  • December 13 at University of Maine at Presque Isle, 181 Maine Street, Presque Isle, 04769 (Grand Ballroom—Allagash and Aroostook rooms); 207-768-9502
  • December 14 at Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, 04473; 207-866-7120
  • December 15 at University of Southern Maine in Gorham, 37 College Avenue, Gorham, 04038 (Bailey Hall); 207-780-5961

The Service and MDIFW are accepting written comments on the draft plan and environmental assessment through February 7, 2012. After the comment period ends, the Service will determine whether the application meets the permit issuance requirements.

Send comments to or to the Service’s Maine Field Office at 17 Godfrey Drive, Suite 2, Orono, Maine 04473. Comments sent through U.S. mail should be postmarked no later than February 7, 2012, to be considered.

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Last updated: December 21, 2011