11/13/2009 11:13 AM ET
Two wildlife advocacy groups had sought a permanent injunction against trapping in Maine to protect threatened Canada lynx.
Two wildlife advocacy groups have lost a court bid to halt trapping in Maine to protect threatened Canada lynx. U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock has denied the request, saying that the Animal Welfare Institute and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine failed to prove that the state's trapping regulations will irreparably harm the lynx population.
The two groups filed suit after several of the elusive cats were caught in traps set for other animals, including one documented just last month.
State officials are hailing the ruling. "Our biologists work extremely hard to ensure the Canada lynx population thrives in Maine and
maintain that trapping serves as a legitimate wildlife management tool," says Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Roland Martin in a statement. "Their efforts to do both so well was demonstrated in court and recognized by Chief Judge Woodcock."
State biologists estimate that there are more than 650 breeding adults and more than 1,000 total lynx in Maine, but the two wildlife groups believe those figures are inflated.
It's illegal to hunt or trap Canada lynx in Maine, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In 2007, the state was ordered to revise trapping rules in order to protect lynx from inadvertant trapping, and rules were revised further last year.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://wwww.bigcatrescue.org