Archive for Sunday, January 7, 2007

Wayward lynx caught, sent back to Colorado

January 7, 2007


A lynx that had spent a few weeks wandering in Kansas has been returned to its Colorado home range.

The lynx was sighted Nov. 22 at Smoky Valley Ranch, a Nature Conservancy property located in Logan County, by Charlie Lee, extension wildlife specialist at Kansas State University.

Lee thought it was a large bobcat, but upon closer observation identified it as a lynx. Aware that the Colorado Division of Wildlife has an active lynx reintroduction program, Lee contacted officials there.

Colorado biologists drove to western Kansas in an attempt to locate and capture the animal - it was wearing a radio transmitter collar - but were unsuccessful.

Several days later, they flew over the area using a receiver to monitor the animal's radio signal and located it in Gove County. By the next day, however, the animal had traveled to Ness County.

The cat was finally captured on Dec. 31 by Brian Hanzlick, a Wildlife and Parks officer. Hanzlick spotted the lynx hidden in a clump of grass and brush near Great Bend.

Catch-pole in hand, Hanzlick spent more than an hour inching his way toward the cat and was finally able to loop the noose of the catch-pole around its neck, then quickly placed it in a cage and transported it to a Brit Spaugh Zoo rehabilitation facility, where it was given food and water.

The lynx remained there until Colorado officials arrived Tuesday to transport it back to the southwest Colorado habitat.

Colorado released more than 200 lynx in the remote San Juan Mountains region from 1999 through the spring of 2006 in an attempt to restore a native species that had not been documented in the state in several decades.

Colorado-released lynx have also traveled into Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Nebraska and Nevada.

Eagle Days on Jan. 21

Each winter, bald eagles migrate into Kansas, providing bird watchers the chance to observe one of the nation's most spectacular birds.

To improve opportunities to view the national symbol, Wildlife and Parks has scheduled a number of Eagle Days across the state, including Jan. 21 at Clinton and Perry lakes, and at Free State High.

The Lawrence event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at nearby Clinton Lake.

The Corp of Engineers will offer eagle viewing tours at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The tours will begin at the Corps project office with a short eagle discussion before traveling to view the eagles.

Eagle Days are also scheduled this weekend at Tuttle Creek Lake and next weekend at Milford Lake.


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