9 Conservation Groups Contribute $4,400 to Lynx Poaching Fund

For Immediate Release: October 28, 2005

CONTACTS:
WENDY KEEFOVER-RING, SINAPU, 303.447.8655, EXT. 1#
JACOB SMITH, CENTER FOR NATIVE ECOSYSTEMS, 303.810.6017
MARK PEARSON, SAN JUAN CITIZENS ALLIANCE, 970.259.3583
SLOAN SHOEMAKER, WILDERNESS WORKSHOP, 970.963.3977
SANDY SHEA, HIGH COUNTRY CITIZENS’ ALLIANCE, 970.963.3977
RYAN BIDWELL, COLORADO WILD, 970.385.9833
MONIQUE DIGIOGIO, SOUTHERN ROCKIES ECOSYSTEM PROJECT, 303.913.4234
JUDY ENDERLE, PRAIRIE PRESERVATION ALLIANCE, 303.466.6879
EVA SARGEANT, DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE, 520.623.9653, Ext. 4

CO—Yesterday, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) revealed that someone likely poached a lynx and put its radio tracking collar in a post office mail box in Silverton. A second lynx collar was found today near Missionary Ridge, thus marring an otherwise successful lynx reintroduction program.

As a result, nine conservation groups – Sinapu, Center for Native Ecosystems, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Wilderness Workshop, High Country Citizens’ Alliance, Colorado Wild, Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, Defenders of Wildlife, and Prairie Preservation – announced that they will contribute another $4,400 to the DOW’s lynx reward.

The reward is being offered for information that leads to the conviction of a person charged with the crime of killing a lynx, a species listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

Since 1999, 204 Canadian-born lynx have been released into the Colorado wild. The Division of Wildlife has monitored many of those animals. Since 1999, 72 Colorado-released lynx have died, some prematurely from human causes: 8 were poached, 6 probably shot, 9 hit by vehicles, and 2 likely hit by vehicles.

“Citizen groups have been invaluable to the process of getting lynx on the ground in Colorado,” said Wendy Keefover-Ring of Sinapu. “We led a number of grassroots campaigns, one to ensure that the Wildlife Commission allowed population augmentations and others to ensure that their habitat is conserved for the long term.”

“By adding to the reward fund, we hope we can help DOW protect lynx across the state,” said Jacob Smith, of Center for Native Ecosytems. “Coloradans will not tolerate poaching of our native wildlife.”

“We are glad to welcome lynx back to the San Juans, and we want to make sure they thrive and survive. Sadly, their main threats come from humans,” said Mark Pearson of San Juan Citizens Alliance.

“The lynx reintroduction program has been one of Colorado’s great conservation successes,” said the Wilderness Workshop’s Sloan Shoemaker. “If these rare animals are being poached, we want to nip it in the bud ASAP.”

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