Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 11, 2018

Contact: Andrea Santarsiere, (303) 854-7748,

Trump Administration Plans to Prematurely Remove Endangered Species Protections for Canada Lynx

Elusive Cats Threatened by Climate Change, Habitat Loss, Trapping

VICTOR, Idaho— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans today to remove endangered species protections for the Canada lynx, claiming the cats have recovered.  The announcement came despite ongoing threats to Canada lynx, especially from climate change.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has not even completed a recovery plan and has no idea how many lynx occur across the animal’s range.

“The lynx is the latest victim of the Trump administration’s ruthless disregard for imperiled wildlife,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The science doesn’t support this sad and shocking move. With the lynx facing climate change, continued trapping, and habitat lost to logging, there’s no way protections for this beautiful cat should be removed.”

Under a court order, the Service was supposed to complete a recovery plan for Canada lynx by January 15. Now, rather than complete the plan — which would have determined recovery goals — the agency has chosen to remove federal protections altogether. 

Instead of a recovery plan, the agency is supposedly basing its recommendation in large part on an expert report. But in this report, scientists noted loss of lynx from portions of their historic range, ongoing loss in parts of Canada, and predicted significant destruction of lynx habitat from climate change in the lower 48 states. Ignoring this data, the Service asserts that there is no reliable information that the current distribution and abundance of lynx in the contiguous United States are substantially reduced from historical conditions. 

Lynx also continue to suffer from habitat loss and fragmentation from mining and fire, as well as incidental trapping, starvation, predation and human-caused deaths throughout their range. 

“The Trump administration doesn’t even know how many of these animals are left, so it’s ridiculous to strip away these protections,” said Santarsiere. “Wildlife officials should draft a recovery plan and collect crucial population data instead of leading the species down a path to extinction. We plan to do whatever it takes to ensure lynx remain protected.”

The Canada lynx was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2000. Canada lynx currently reside in small populations in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Minnesota, and Maine. A reintroduced population also resides in Colorado.

Recognizing the ecological importance of wolves, bears, lynx and other carnivores, the Center uses science-based advocacy to defend these magnificent animals from persecution, exploitations and extinction. Find out more about the Center’s Carnivore Conservation campaign.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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