Colo. claims victory in effort to bring back lynx

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September 20, 2010 5:00:27 AM PDT
Colorado wildlife officials are declaring victory in their 11-year effort to reintroduce lynx to the state.

The Division of Wildlife said Friday that the cats are reproducing faster than they're dying, a sign of a self-sustaining population.

Colorado's native lynx died out in the early 1970s because of trapping, poisoning and development.

Wildlife officers began reintroducing them in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado by releasing lynx that were captured in Alaska and Canada.

By 2006, 218 cats had been brought in. Researchers say at least 141 lynx kittens have been born since 2003, including at least 14 this year.

No estimate is available for the state's total lynx population, partly because the animals live in remote wilderness areas.