Local group contributes to reward for poaching info | PostIndependent.com

Local group contributes to reward for poaching info

A local environmental organization is helping post a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of two suspected lynx poachers.

Two radio telemetry collars have been cut from lynx in southwest Colorado within the last week. The Colorado Division of Wildlife assumes the lynx were illegally shot and killed.

Wilderness Workshop, a Roaring Fork Valley-based group, is one of eight conservation groups providing $3,400 for information that leads to a conviction.

A collar cut off a lynx was dropped into a slot at the Silverton post office on Oct. 26. No other information was provided. The collar was removed from a male lynx that was born in southwest Colorado in 2004. The cat had been trapped and collared by the DOW last winter.

State wildlife officials found the second collar Oct. 27 after a mortality signal was transmitted by the collar via satellite uplink. The collar was found in snow in an area known as Missionary Ridge about 20 miles northeast of Durango. No evidence of lynx remains was found at the location.

The lynx, a female released in 2004, had given birth to three kittens in May or June 2005. Without their mother, the kittens will die, said Tanya Shenk, a lynx researcher for the DOW.

Wildlife officials speculate someone shot both lynx. Deer and elk hunting seasons are now in progress. The DOW is tracking 110 lynx that have been fitted with radio collars. It is estimated that about 200 of the cats could be alive in the state.

Information can be offered anonymously to the DOW about the incidents. Call Drayton Harrison, a district wildlife manager in southwest Colorado at 375-6754. Tips can also be called in to the DOW’s Operation Game Thief: 877-265-6648.

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