Colorado Lynx Population Strong After Being Reintroduced 21 Years Ago
The Canada lynx is making a comeback in Colorado.
According to a press release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the lynx population is now comfortably within the 150-250 range in the San Juan Mountains, just 21 years after the animals' reintroduction to the state.
CPW began releasing lynx in the area in 1999. Although reintroduction ceased in 2006, the organization is currently monitoring the lynx population through cameras and tracking missions in southwest Colorado.
However, it is nearly impossible for biologists to get an exact population count due to the animals' elusive nature. Instead, researchers look to see how many areas the lynx is occupying.
Like with a domestic housecat, scented lures and feathers are used to draw the animals towards the cameras.
"Cats are very curious and very sight-oriented. So the odors and fluttering feathers, hopefully, bring them past the cameras," said Scott Wait, the senior terrestrial biologist in CPW's Southwest Region, in the release. "Successfully reintroducing lynx was one of the most significant projects Colorado Parks and Wildlife has ever accomplished and it's important that we continue to learn how the lynx are doing."
Despite tracking difficulties, biologists know that lynx are moving, and reproducing, outside of the San Juan Mountains.
If you happen to see a lynx, please report the sighting to CPW here.