AUGUSTA — A reward of up to $5,500 is being offered in connection with the recent illegal killings of two Canada lynx in Maine. Maine Warden Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators are seeking information regarding two separate Canada lynx shootings in northern Oxford County and Aroostook counties.
The Canada lynx is listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Unlawfully killing a Canada lynx carries a maximum fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to one year. Maine's Operation Game Thief, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Trappers Association are all contributing to the reward money.
Canada lynx are increasing in population and expanding their range in Maine. Vehicle accidents involving Canada lynx, sightings of lynx and verified lynx tracks are increasing in number and location. A record number of Canada lynx — 11 — have been killed by vehicles in 2016.
Investigators are seeking information in the following incidents:
Case 1 — T14 R7 – near Portage Lake, on Nov. 17, 2016, a Canada lynx was shot and found dead alongside a logging road that connects Hewes Brook and Wilderness Island roads, west of Portage Lake. This was reported to the Maine Warden Service after a concerned sportsman discovered the shot lynx in a legally-set foothold trap.
Case 2 — Western Maine, near Aziscohos Lake, believed to have occurred on or about Nov. 15, this Canada lynx shooting incident took place on a logging road that connects to Parmachenee Road on the New Hampshire/Maine border, near Aziscohos Lake, approximately seven miles north of the Parmachenee Road/Route 16 intersection. It is believed that this Canada lynx was shot and killed with a rifle. This adult male lynx was wearing a GPS radio collar that was affixed by IFW wildlife biologists in 2015 as part of an ongoing IFW lynx study.
Currently, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are in the midst of a three-year Canada lynx study that will provide an updated lynx population estimate that will reflect the increasing range and number of lynx in Maine. A 2006 Canada lynx population survey by MDIFW estimated the population at between 750-1,000 adult lynx in their core range of northern Maine.
Maine Operation Game Thief is offering a $2,500 reward ($5,000 total) to anyone with information that leads to a conviction for the person(s) responsible for killing either of these lynx. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering an additional reward of up to $2,500 ($5,000 total) to any person who furnishes information that leads to a conviction in either case. Additionally, the Maine Trappers Association will add a $500 reward to any person ($1,000 total) who can provide information that leads to a conviction in either case. Total reward dollars in this case have now reached $11,000.
Anyone with information about either incident is urged to call Maine Operation Game Thief at 1-800-253-7887 or 207-287-6057; you can remain anonymous. People may also call Public Safety Dispatch in Bangor at 1-800-432-7381 or 207-973-3700).