Reintroduction of the Lynx Does More Harm Than Good

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Reintroduction of the Lynx Does More Harm Than Good

There I was, standing face to face with the bobtailed lynx. It was looking right at me and licking its chops with delight. It seemed as if the beast was thinking "Lunch" on this cold, gray December day, but I wasn't worried about being attacked. The reason for this was the fact that this was a domestic lynx that just happened to be on the other side of a stout metal cage, so there was no chance of the lynx getting a hold of me.

At one time, the lynx lived all the way along the Continental Divide clear up into Canada. Now, after being gone from Colorado for 25 years, the animal has been reintroduced into the lower tip of the lynx's historic habitat, the San Juan Mountains (Rogers). So far, out of 33 lynx that are being tracked, all of them are roaming in 276 square kilometers of the southwestern portion of Colorado that runs from the New Mexico border up to the I-70 corridor and from Monarch Pass over to Taylor Mesa (Shenk). In an attempt to find out how the animals, which look like bobcats with black tufts on their ears and huge paws, act in nature, scientists are tracking them with radio collars and airplanes (Lloyd).

Now, just a couple of years later, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is planning to release over 180 more lynx into the Colorado wilderness within the next five years. However, out of nearly 100 Canadian Lynx that have already been released so far, about half of them have died and none of them have reproduced. With the type of results that the process has received so far, the agencies involved in the reintroduction process should stop reintroducing the lynx into Colorado. Instead, they should try to find a way different way that will get results that save the species. The government agencies that are involved in reintroducing the lynx argue that it should be done in order to save an endangered species. In this argument they bring out three strong points for trying to save the lynx: every animal should have the opportunity to exist, many people feel happy when they see the animals they share the land with and all living things are part of a complex ecosystem ("Wildlife Commission . . ."). However, they aren't sure how to reintroduce the lynx so that they don't all die.

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