Help protect lynx in Washington

Help protect lynx in Washington

Conservation Northwest / Oct 06, 2016 / Action Alert, Lynx

A Canada lynx in winter. Photo: USFWS

WILD NW Action Alert #263: Support WDFW’s recommendation to classify lynx as a state endangered species

Canada lynx are rare and elusive wildcats. They depend on large tracts of boreal forest habitat with ample snowshoe hares to feed on and persistent deep snow.

In Washington, lynx historically occurred in the Cascade Range and northeastern Washington. But Lynx populations were decimated by trapping and habitat degradation, and have been slow to recover.

Please take action by Monday, October 10, and support WDFW’s proposal to list lynx in Washington as an endangered species. Your voice will help ensure these amazing cats get the protections they need!

Lynx were listed as threatened in Washington state in 1993, and today these wildcats persist only in the North Cascades (particularly in the Pasayten Wilderness and Loomis State Forest), the Kettle River Range and the Selkirk Mountains in our state’s far northeast corner.

Now, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is recommending that lynx status be changed from threatened to endangered. The main reasons for this proposed uplisting are ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation by fire, significant range contraction, small population size, and threats from climate change. Wildlife are classified as endangered by WDFW when they become seriously threatened with extinction.

Take action for lynx through our online comment form!

Our suggested comments are also copied below:

Dear Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife,

I’m writing to support the recommendation to list Canada lynx in Washington state as endangered. Lynx are the most elusive and rare of the three wild cats that live in Washington, and I want to see lynx recover and rebound in the North Cascades and Kettle River Mountain Range.

Lynx were abundant in Washington a few decades ago, before trapping and habitat degradation caused significant declines. Although lynx trapping in Washington ended in 1991, lynx continue to struggle. More recently large fires have altered lynx habitat, reducing by a third its capacity to support lynx. The shrinking size of the remaining lynx population is more vulnerable to demographic fluctuations (immigration, litter sex ratios), and increasingly threatened by climate change.

We need to do more for lynx in Washington, such as getting more lynx into the Kettle River Mountain Range, reducing trapping pressure in British Columbia, and protecting the North Cascades population. Uplisting to endangered status is a crucial step in the conservation and recovery of lynx that make their home in Washington. 

Thank you,