ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Federal Subsistence Board has approved shortening the lynx trapping season on federal lands around the Kenai Peninsula.
The new season, to begin Jan. 15, will last a month.
The change aligns federal regulations with new state regulations and is meant to protect lynx populations during a time when their number are declining.
Lynx populations are cyclic with highs and lows occurring about every eight- to 11 years. These population cycles are related to the fluctuations of snowshoe hares. When snowshoe hare populations are low, lynx suffer from a lack of food and produce less young. That means fewer lynx available for harvest when their populations are low or in decline.
An analysis of 2000 trapping season harvest data and snowshoe hare populations around the Kenai Peninsula show that the lynx population there is declining.
Federal officials have said excessive trapping could further depress the lynx population and keep it from rebuilding normally when food becomes more available. The state already has taken that action by issuing an emergency order to reduce the lynx trapping season on portions of the peninsula.
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