U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service status review for Canada lynx indicates recovery in the lower 48 states

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced completion of a five-year status review for the Canada lynx in the contiguous United States. The review concludes that the Canada lynx may no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and should be considered for delisting due to recovery.

The Service has indicated that the recommendation is the result of an extensive review of the best available scientific information and almost 20 years of working in partnership with state, federal, tribal, industry, and other land managers on the conservation of this species. Based on findings of the status review, the Service will begin developing a proposed rule to delist the species.

The Canada lynx was listed as threatened in 2000. Since receiving ESA protection, federal and private land managers throughout the lynx’s range have taken actions to conserve the species. For example, in Maine, private landowners have voluntarily supported working woodland easements that protect nearly 2.5 million acres of forest, benefitting the Canada lynx and other species.

To delist a species, the Service must follow a process similar to what is used in considering whether to list species. Thus, the next step is for the Service to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register, receive public comments, review and analyze those comments, conduct a peer review, and then announce a final decision.

More information about this announcement by the Service, including a link to the status review and a Species Status Assessment, is available at https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/canadaLynx.php.