Today: March 04, 2024
Today: March 04, 2024

US proposes plan to help the snow-dependent Canada lynx before warming shrinks its habitat

Share This
US proposes plan to help the snow-dependent Canada lynx before warming shrinks its habitat
AP
MATTHEW BROWN
December 01, 2023

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials proposed a $31 million recovery plan for Canada lynx on Friday in a bid to help the snow-dependent wildcat species that scientists say could be wiped out in parts of the contiguous U.S. by the end of the century.

The proposal marks a sharp turnaround from five years ago, when officials in Donald Trump’s presidency said lynx had recovered and no longer needed protection after their numbers had rebounded in some areas. President Joseph Biden’s administration in 2021 reached a legal settlement with environmental groups to retain threatened species protections for lynx that were first imposed in 2000.

Populations of the medium-sized wildcats in New Hampshire, Maine and Washington state are most at risk as warmer temperatures reduce habitat for lynx and their primary food, snowshoe hares, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documents indicate.

But declines for lynx would be seen in boreal forests across the contiguous U.S. under even the most optimistic warming scenario that officials considered, the newly-released documents show. That includes lynx populations in the northern and southern Rocky Mountains and in the Midwest.

The recovery plan says protecting 95% of current lynx habitat in the lower 48 states in coming decades would help the species remain viable. And it suggests lynx could be moved into the Yellowstone region of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho — an area they don't currently occupy — as a potential climate change refuge.

There are roughly 1,100 lynx in the contiguous U.S., spread across five populations with the largest concentrations in the northeastern U.S. and northern Rockies. Most areas suitable for lynx are in Alaska and Canada.

Those numbers are expected to plummet in some areas, and the proposal would aim for a minimum contiguous U.S. population of a combined 875 lynx over a 20-year period across the five populations, including 400 in the northeast and 200 in the northern Rockies, according to the proposal.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service faces a November 2024 deadline to draft a related plan to protect land where lynx are found. That came out of a legal settlement with two environmental groups — Wild Earth Guardians and Wilderness Workshop.

U.S. government biologists first predicted in 2016 that some lynx populations could disappear by 2100.

However, under Trump officials shortened their time span for considering climate change threats, from 2100 to 2050, because of what they said were uncertainties in long-term climate models. A government assessment based on that shortened time span concluded lynx populations had increased versus historical levels in parts of Colorado and Maine.

The proposed recovery plan comes two days after the Biden administration announced protections for another snow-dependent species — the North American wolverine. That came in response to scientists’ warnings that climate change will likely melt away the wolverines’ mountain retreats and push them toward extinction.

Popular

What to know about Super Tuesday and why it matters

Super Tuesday is traditionally the biggest day nationwide for primary elections and caucuses before the actual Election Day in November

Tesla shares skid after February China sales slump

By Hyunjoo Jin San Francisco (Reuters) - Shares of Tesla fell more than 7% on Monday after its sales slumped in February in China, where it faced rising competition and a slowdown during the Lunar New

Judge rejects Sen. Bob Menendez's claims that search warrants in bribery case were unconstitutional

A federal judge has rejected U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's claims that search warrants leading to corruption charges and the discovery of gold bars and cash at his New Jersey home were unconstitutional

Apple to pay C$14.4 million to settle iPhone throttling case in Canada, CBC reports

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has approved a proposed C$14.4 million ($10.6 million) settlement from Apple to eligible members of a class-action lawsuit that accused the

Houston holds tight grip on No. 1, Kansas drops out of top 10 for first time in 3 years

Houston still has a tight grip on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 while Kansas is out of the top 10 for the first time in three seasons

Brothers Travis and Jason Kelce honored with bobblehead giveaway at Cavs-Celtics game

Taylor Swift’s boyfriend has taken shaking it off to another level

Related

Fed's Bostic: No urgency to cut interest rates given US economy's strength

By Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.

Central banks on brink of victory in inflation fight - BIS

By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Central banks are on the brink of victory in the fight to bring the global surge in inflation back under control, the Bank for International Settlements said on Monday

Managers explore dollar shift to handle faster US stock settlement

By Laura Matthews NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some investment managers are looking to change the currency their funds do business in to the dollar to prevent their foreign exchange transactions from failing

Stock market today: Japan's Nikkei tops 40,000, as investors await China political meeting

Asian stocks are mostly higher ahead of China’s top annual political gathering, while Japan’s benchmark closed above 40,000 for the first time

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer