Record Year For Colorado Lynx, With 46 New Kittens

Denver (AP) A record 46 kittens were born in Colorado this
spring to transplanted lynx, and some of the mothers are settling down with the same mate year after year. Researchers say the litters are giving them hope that the reintroduction program is paying off.

The elusive, thick–furred mountain cats are a federally listed
threatened species. The cats disappeared from Colorado in 1974 due to trapping, poisoning and development. The Division of Wildlife began reintroducing the cats six years ago with transplanted lynx from Canada.

Researchers found litters spread throughout the central and
southern mountains this year. A total of 16 lynx had kittens, some of them for the second or third time. Wildlife researcher Tanya Shenk says of the 55 kittens born in the last two years, 28 could still be alive and in Colorado.

Adult lynx released in Colorado are equipped with radio collars
for tracking. Kittens are too small for collars, but biologists
implant microchips under their skin. The microchips don't allow the cats to be tracked by radio, but they can be identified with a hand–held scanner at close range.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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