Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-month Finding on a Petition To Change the Final Listing of the Distinct Population Segment of the Canada Lynx To Include New Mexico
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to expand the listing of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) to include the State of New Mexico, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that the petition to change the boundary of the listing of Canada lynx is warranted but precluded by higher priority actions to amend the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We have determined that Canada lynx are regularly and frequently crossing the State boundary between Colorado and New Mexico. When lynx cross the boundary, their status under the Act changes, leaving lynx in New Mexico without Federal protection. Upon publication of this 12-month petition finding, we will add lynx in New Mexico to our candidate species list with a listing priority number of 12. We will develop a proposed rule to amend the listing of lynx in the lower 48 States as our priorities allow (see section of Preclusion and Expeditious Progress).