Two Canada lynx were killed in traps in Northern Maine just months after the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued an incidental take permit allowing Maine trappers to kill up to three Canada lynx over a 15-year period. Canada lynx are listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The two deaths prompted The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to enact emergency rules immediately banning the use of lethal traps in most of northern Maine. The Bangor Daily News Editorial Board captured the issue nicely.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued an incidental take permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act that allows taking of threatened Canada lynx in the course of otherwise lawful trapping. Over the course of the ITP’s 15-year duration, it allows for up to 183 Canada lynx to be captured and released with no or minor injuries; up to nine Canada lynx to be captured and released after treatment for more severe injuries; and up to three Canada lynx to be captured and either killed or non-releasable due to the severity of injuries.
The permit was issued on November 4, 2014 to the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife, but it covers all licensed or otherwise authorized trappers anywhere in the state of Maine. The agencies expect that the incidental take allowed by the permit will be offset by the creation of a 22,000-acre lynx management area providing enhanced habitat in the Bureau of Parks and Lands Seboomook Unit in northern Maine.