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lynx-dev LYNX: in Colorado, vs "other predators" (will lynx survive?)

From: David Combs
Subject: lynx-dev LYNX: in Colorado, vs "other predators" (will lynx survive?)
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 05:01:36 -0800 (PST)

I saw this on "Nando News":


Lynx to return to Colorado after 25 years' absence

      Copyright  1998 Nando Media

      Copyright  1998 The Associated Press

   DENVER (November 13, 1998 09:15 a.m. EST
   -- The first of 80 lynx will begin arriving in southwestern Colorado
   next month in a plan to reintroduce the secretive cats to the state
   for the first time in nearly 25 years.

   The Colorado Wildlife Commission approved a plan Thursday to
   reintroduce lynx to the Weminuche Wilderness, a remote area in the
   eastern end of the San Juan National Forest.

   The cats once roamed freely in the area, but biologists believe they
   were chased away by logging, trapping, construction and ski area

   Forty lynx will be purchased from trappers in Alaska and in Canada's
   British Columbia, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and flown
   and driven to the high mountain wilderness in December.

   If all goes well, another 40 will arrive next year.

   Critics wonder whether the lynx, rarely found south of the Canadian
   border, can survive.

   John Seidel, a predator mammals biologist with the Colorado Division
   of Wildlife overseeing the project, said there are no guarantees.

   Though he would prefer to get the cats later in the winter, when
   temperatures are less extreme and the snow depth lower, there is a
   need to move quickly because the population of the lynx follows
   cycling of hare populations, usually about every 10 years.

   Lynx populations now are at a maximum.

   The lynx, equipped with radio collars, will be closely monitored for
   the next two to three years to see how they adapt, he said.

   Biologists want to determine whether the cats have specific habitat
   preferences in Colorado, whether they are able to compete with other
   predators for prey, and if they die, why.

   The Colorado Wildlife Commission's 5-1 decision came less than a
   month after an environmental group claimed responsibility for fires
   on Vail Mountain to protest expansion it said would "ruin the last,
   best lynx habitat in the state."

   Nobody knows exactly how many lynx roam in the United States, but
   environmentalists think the figure is fewer than 2,000.

   By ROBIN MCDOWELL, Associated Press Writer

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