ESA Status: Threatened
The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a forest dwelling cat known for its long legs, furry paws, black- ear tufts and short black-tipped tail. The Canada lynx uses its large paws to hunt for prey in the deep snow. Its range stretches from Canada into northern parts of the continental United States including Idaho. The Canada lynx is currently listed as a threatened species with designated critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act.In January 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced the Canada lynx is being considered for delisting due to recovery and conservation efforts spanning nearly two decades. A Species Status Assessment reviewed scientific data taking into account climate change, forest ecology, and the effect of snowshoe hare populations and determined the Canada lynx is not in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future. The Canada lynx is now more broadly distributed than when listed in 2000 because of preemptive and collaborative efforts taken by stakeholders across the species’ range.
This announcement does not remove or negate the Endangered Species Act protections currently in place for the Canada lynx. The FWS is developing a delisting rule for the Canada lynx to remove the threatened classification. The delisting rule will soon be available for review and public comments. The state of Idaho, through the Office of Species Conservation and Idaho Department of Fish and Game, has been involved in Canada lynx conservation efforts and will continue to advocate for coordination efforts to delist the species.