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Colville Tribe reintroduces lynx to Inland Northwest

Courtesy of the Colville Tribe Department of Fish and Wildlife

A decade of serious wildfires has decimated Eastern Washington forested areas where many Canadian Lynx once made their home.

The Colville Tribe is working to reintroduce the species, and has released five animals onto the reservation.

Lynx were once common in Northeastern Washington, but after years of logging and a decade of megafires, that vast majority have disappeared. The Colville tribe, along with governments and other tribes, is working to bring back the species.

Rose Piccinini, a wildlife biologist with the Colville Tribe, says the team is capturing, and transporting Lynx from Canada, where they are not endangered. The first batch of transports started this winter.

“We have trapped two males and three females which is great,” she said. “Those individuals have had GPS radio collars on them and they've been released on the Colville Indian Reservation."

The goal is reintroducing a breeding population and Piccinini says it should take about five years to transport 50 animals.

“The tribe is just so grateful to be able to be the ones to bring these animals back,” she said, “and to right a wrong a wrong and have them back in the landscape where they belong."

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.
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