Target: Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore
Goal: Develop and enact a conservation plan to protect the endangered Canada lynx from incidental trapping
Three conservation groups recently initiated a lawsuit against the governor of Idaho and other state officials to halt trapping that illegally kills one of the rarest cats in the United States, the Canada lynx. According to The Center for Biological Diversity, the state of Idaho is enabling Endangered Species Act violations by permitting trapping that leads to incidental killing of lynx. Urge the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to develop a conservation plan that would help maintain the survival of these beautiful, threatened animals.
Under the Endangered Species Act, trapping of lynx is illegal, even if the animal is released alive. Any agency that permits trapping is liable under the Act. Trapping permitted by the state of Idaho is pushing these animals toward extinction, which is a clear violation of the Act.
The Canada lynx is a threatened species that numbers as few as one hundred in the state of Idaho. Recreational trapping poses great risk for the lynx living there. Although the intentional trapping of lynx is not permitted under Idaho law, increases in trapping licenses and fur prices, especially for bobcat, have resulted in incidental trapping of lynx. In the past two years, at least three lynx have been unintentionally caught by bobcat trappers.
Urge the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to develop a conservation plan to save the Canada lynx from extinction. Hold them accountable for permitting activity that is in clear violation of the Endangered Species Act and demand that they develop and enact new measures to save the lynx.
Dear Director Moore,
The Canada lynx population in Idaho is under great threat, and without taking swift action, they may face extinction. Habitat destruction and reduced snowpacks from climate change have left the lynx vulnerable, and now incidental trapping is on the rise due to an increased volume of fur trapping in Idaho.
The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to kill, trap, harm or harass any endangered or threatened species, and a government agency that permits such activity is also liable. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game needs to develop a conservation plan with measures to avoid and reduce incidental trapping of lynx. I urge your agency to set restrictions on conibear, body-crushing traps, and snares, and enact reporting requirements and ongoing monitoring, including a daily trap check in lynx habitat.
Idaho is a critical area for the lynx, allowing for a healthy mixing between populations inhabiting the Rocky Mountains and Canada. If the lynx in Idaho are lost, the entire western U.S. population is at risk for extinction. Take steps immediately to save this beautiful and important animal.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Michael Zahra via Wikimedia Commons