National environmental group sues Minnesota DNR over trapping of lynx

Published 2:58 pm Friday, December 18, 2020

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MINNEAPOLIS — A national environmental group filed a federal lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Thursday alleging that the agency isn’t doing enough to protect endangered lynx from trapping.

The Center for Biological Diversity argues that hunters and trappers should not be allowed to set snares and traps for small game that are also capturing and killing the federally protected Canada lynx.

“It’s really frustrating that the DNR knows its trapping program is capturing lynx, but it refuses to take a few common sense steps needed to prevent it,” said Collette Adkins, senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

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The center sued the DNR over the same issue in 2006. The judge in that case required the DNR to make several rule changes to make it harder for lynx to get trapped in the snares, the Star Tribune reported.

Canada lynx have become incredibly rare in Minnesota, with a population somewhere between 50 and 200 animals, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Lynx are native to northern Minnesota and have been given endangered species protections since 2000. At least 16 lynx have been trapped in Minnesota since 2008, according to the center. At least six of those died.

DNR spokesman Steve Carroll declined to comment.