State issues emergency bear-trapping rule to protect Canada lynx

On Wednesday, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued an emergency rule that further delineated legal practices by the state’s bear hunters. The impetus for that decision: Wildlife officials had become aware of a device they are concerned could harm federally protected Canada lynx.

“A manufacturer came to us with a device, wondering about its legality for use in Maine,” said Judy Camuso, the DIF&W’s wildlife director. “We reviewed it, and we were concerned that people may modify the device and develop something that could possibly catch a lynx. So although we recognize the risk is very, very low for an impact to lynx, we have to be protective according to our [Incidental Take Permit].”

Trapping in parts of Maine where lynx live is governed under that federal ITP, which was finalized in 2014 after years of study and work. The permit allows the state’s trapping program to continue so long as special care is taken to protect lynx, which are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

“[The device in question] was like a long metal tube that an animal would reach into,” Camuso said. “We recognized that it was very unlikely that there would be any impact to lynx by this device or a similar device, but we couldn’t devise a rule that would effectively protect lynx without having a much longer, broader discussion.”

To read the rest of “State issues emergency bear-trapping rule to protect Canada lynx,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer John Holyoke, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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