Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cute kitten

(New lynx kitten photographed by a DOW researcher)
Researchers for the Colorado Division of Wildlife have completed their annual search for lynx kittens, and for the first time since the program began in 1999, they found that a Colorado-born female lynx had a litter. It's not just a great photo op (although who can resist a cute kitten picture?), it's also an important milestone in the DOW program. “Proving that kittens born to released lynx can survive, establish territories, find mates and have kittens of their own is a significant milestone that brings the program a step closer to success,” said Jeff Ver Steeg, assistant director for wildlife programs for the DOW.

One negative note: Researchers found that the number of kittens born to lynxes brought in from other states and the number of litters found in 2006 were significantly less than the previous three years. Four dens were found with a total of 11 kittens. Researchers are puzzled by the decline and trying to figure it out.

Most of the cats live in the southern mountains of Colorado.

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