"Canada Lynx Threatened By Rising Temperatures In Maine"

"The rare Canada lynx, whose range has shrunk considerably in recent decades, faces a grave threat from rising temperatures in Maine, federal wildlife experts said on Tuesday.

The shaggy wild feline whose principal eastern U.S. habitat is Maine, preys on snowshoe hare but may lose out to competing hunters if snowfall decreases in coming years as predicted, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Lynx, bobcats and fishers stalk the same primary food source.

The historic range of the cat, which was listed as a threatened species in 13 states in 2000, once extended throughout the northern United States and Rocky Mountains.

Although its eastern habitat extended as far south as Pennsylvania 100 years ago, today northern Maine supports the only viable U.S. population of Canada lynx east of the Mississippi River, said Bill Butcher, a USFWS spokesman."

Zach Howard reports for Reuters May 18, 2011.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011