First litter of Lynx kittens found since 2006
Spring brought a surprise delivery from the stork: A litter of 10 lynx kittens-the first newborns documented in Colorado since 2006, gladdening the hearts of biologists leading the charge to restore the mountain feline, as well as drawing waves of squeals from computer monitors everywhere. (Pics)
Once native to Colorado, the threatened tuft-eared cats were wiped out by the early 1970s by logging, trapping, poisoning, and urban development. More than 200 lynx from Alaska and Canada have been released in Colorado since 1999, but because the population of snowshoes hares-the cats’ main food source-has diminished over time, biologists have found no kittens in the past two years.
A total of 126 lynx kittens are known to have been born in Colorado, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife: 16 kittens in 2003; 39 kittens in 2004; 50 kittens in 2005; 11 kittens in 2006; and now 10 kittens in 2009.
Still unknown is the exact number of lynx currently dwelling in the state, although we can now conclusively add seven male and three female kittens to the count. And the cuteness, it burns.