Protecting Canada lynx in Maine is no easy task when ongoing trapping and forestry operations continue to disrupt their lives. But by addressing the world around the lynx, advocates and officials believe they may be able to give the big cats a future.
The Portland Press Herald has reported that wildlife officials, advocates, and landowners are looking to recreate the habitat not of the lynx, but of the snowshoe hares – their primary prey.
“If nothing is done, the state could lose up to 60 percent of the snowshoe hare habitat – and 60 percent of its lynx – within 14 years, according to an estimate by the University of Maine,” wrote David Sharp.
The state is working with its own agencies, federal agencies, and the many private individuals and companies that own large portions of the area needing change. Various techniques are being utilized and explored, including specific clear-cutting and razing of mature trees to generate growth of saplings.
“Forest management techniques are necessary to create a balance of new and old growth habitat because natural pests like spruce budworm and natural disturbances like wildfires or harsh weather aren’t enough to make way for young trees in Maine, said Jennifer Vashon, the state’s lynx biologist,” noted the article.
Of course, ending a potentially devastating trapping program, as suggested in a legal action by a coalition of wildlife advocacy groups, would have a positive impact on the lynx populations, too.
But it is a positive step that the state is addressing the habitat issue – it is one that governments too often ignore.
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