It is a beautiful and fascinating animal. It is guarded for its preservation. However, his living space is reduced. And his presence is becoming more and more ghostly. The Canadian lynx is endangered in its American habitat. It is not the only kind. And the loss of ice and snow is directly related to the possible disappearance.
It was discovered by a study by Washington State University researchers. The Canadian lynx (Canadian Linx) was only seen in 20% of its potential habitat in the state. The study is entitled Will Lynx lose its edge? Canada Lynx Occupation in Washington. It was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. It covered more than 7,300 square kilometers with camera traps. The lynx was only detected in 29 of the 175 monitored areas.
“The results show an alarming picture not only of the lynx. Many other species that are adapted to the cold, ”explains Dan Thornton, professor at the WSU. Lynxes are good sentinel species for climate change. He also said, "If they go away, they'll give us information about what's going to happen next."
What's happening? Forest fires, higher temperatures, less snow. The lynx has large legs that are suitable for hunting in the snow. If possible, other competitors appear: the Puma, for example.
The connection to the Canadian population is the key for the lynx in Washington. This relationship is complicated by the different state of conservation in the neighboring country. In Washington, they are protected as a threatened species at the federal and federal levels. In Canada they are hunted for their fur.
The lynx is in the states of Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. A project is considering removing its protection for the northern zone in the coming years. Something that would increase the animal's risk.
The lynx is difficult to examine and estimates of the actual individuals are difficult. It is believed that the area in which it exists can only support 38 to 61 lynxes.
The investigators used 650 trap cameras. They created more than 2 million images. They were classified with the help of dozens of WSU volunteer students.
It is the first time that such a comprehensive method is used that uses camera traps to track the lynx. Thornton and his colleagues hope to expand this type of study to reverse the threat: the Canadian lynx is in danger and its loss would be terrible to the world.