Posted at: 12/17/2008 01:42:41 PM
Updated at: 12/17/2008 02:54:27 PM
By: SUE MAJOR HOLMES, Associated Press Writer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed Wednesday to study whether the Canada lynx should be protected in New Mexico under the Endangered Species Act.
Rob Edward of WildEarth Guardians' Denver office calls it a positive first step toward protecting the lynx in the state.
The Western Environmental Law Center sued in April on behalf of conservation groups to force the agency to act on a petition to protect the animal. A settlement two weeks ago gave Fish and Wildlife until this week to decide whether to do a yearlong study to determine whether to list the animal in New Mexico.
Lynx have been reintroduced in southern Colorado, and some have wandered south into New Mexico. The federal government lists them as threatened in 14 states, including Colorado, but they have no federal protection in New Mexico.
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