Denver Four more lynx kittens have been found with their mother by a Colorado Division of Wildlife tracking crew at a remote, high-elevation den in southwestern Colorado, bringing the total number of lynx kittens to eight this spring.
Three lynx have now given birth within the core area of southwestern Colorado: a British Columbia female released in 2000 was found with two kittens May 21 and a second female from B.C. was found with two kittens May 26.
The Division has released 129 lynx -- 41 in 1999, 55 in 2000 and 33 this spring. The Division hopes to release another 50 lynx in 2004 and 50 more in 2005. Fifteen lynx will then be released in both 2006 and 2007.
Division officials are currently tracking 63 lynx. Another 45 are confirmed dead with human-caused mortality from gunshots and vehicle collisions the biggest cause of death.
The status of the rest is unknown, though at least two have slipped their radio collars and the batteries have run down on the collars of others.
The first pair of lynx kittens found last Wednesday was in a den beneath the trunk of an Englemann spruce on a steep mountainside at 10,600.
Both the mother from British Columbia and the father from Yukon Territory were released April 2, 2000.
Division biologists hope there will be more births in 2003. Radio signals from collars indicated that nine pairs of lynx were together during breeding season, offering hope that more mothers may be about to give birth.