Two lynx spotted near Eagle County |

Two lynx spotted near Eagle County

Bob Berwyn
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
AP file photoOne of six Canada lynx steps out of a container as it is released into the wilds of southwestern Colorado in 2007 near Creede, in an effort to restore the cat to the state.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado ” A pair of recent lynx sightings in the Tenmile Range suggest the endangered cats may be using the area more and more, said Tom Kroening, Colorado Division of Wildlife manager for the area.

Earlier this week, some Canadian visitors observed one of the cats for several minutes on the edge of a Peak 7 trail at Breckenridge Ski Area. A group of skiers staying in a backcountry hut during an avalanche class spotted a lynx several weeks ago near the shelter. Both had photographic proof.

“I don’t know that they are living here, but it seems that they are moving through a little more frequently,” Kroening said.

The lynx spotted Feb. 12 at Breckenridge may have been the same one that was observed at the backcountry hut, he said.

“It shows that area (the Tenmile Range) is important for lynx and other wildlife. It’s important to keep that habitat functional,” Kroening said. “I’m very encouraged they’re in the area. In my opinion, that’s a good thing.”

The last confirmed sightings of native lynx were around Vail. The area between Summit County and Vail has often been described as some of the best habitat in the state.

A recent Forest Service study at Vail Pass showed intense human recreation in that area is making it more difficult for the cats to find food and rest there.

As part of its reintroduction program, the Division of Wildlife is carefully monitoring the cats via radio collars that can be tracked by satellite and plane. The tracking program shows that lynx have been using the White River National Forest extensively.

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