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Stop Lynx Killing in Maine

This petition had 282 supporters

Canada lynx in Maine are at risk from state trapping policies that prioritize the interests of trappers over those of the federally protected wildcat. Right now a plan to allow lynx to be injured and killed as the “incidental” result of Maine’s trapping program is being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; but a range of factors, from inadequate oversight to climate change and the lynx’s natural population cycles, makes the proposal inadequate to protect the snow-roving cat.

Your voice is needed now to make sure the state is not granted its “license to kill” under the current terms of the plan, which would essentially maintain the status quo for trappers and sidestep the urgent need for improvements in lynx management.

The state’s proposal for its trapping program includes incidental takes averaging 13 lynx caught per year, or 159 over the 15-year permit. Because the animals are elusive, accurate lynx population counts are notoriously difficult -- the numbers proposed by Maine are more reflective of how many lynx have been caught and killed in the past, not a sound, scientific understanding of how many lynx there are at any given time.

All this is bad enough, but the fact of the matter is no one really knows how many lynx are trapped and killed each year, because the state depends on trappers to report themselves. Game wardens each have to cover 500 square miles of territory, and trappers have plenty of reasons not to report catching lynx. Each time they do report, it brings the tally closer to the limit set by the permit -- and every lynx killed is concrete evidence that Maine’s trapping program is at odds with the recovery of this magnificent cat.

If Maine is granted a federal permit for a trapping program that allows for some harm to lynx, it needs to be based on the best available science, better accountability and oversight of trapping activity, and adequate law enforcement.

Please, fill out the form below and send a letter today to the Fish and Wildlife Service requesting that it reject Maine’s “incidental take permit plan” for lynx until it ensures the cat’s recovery.
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