Litter of lynx kittens heartens Colo. biologists

Jun 28, 2009 By JUDITH KOHLER , Associated Press Writer
This is an undated photograph taken in May 2009 at an undisclosed located and supplied by the Colorado Division of Wildlife that shows a lynx kitten, which is one of 10 born this spring in Colorado, according to researchers. The discovery of the kittens after finding none the last two years and the location of some of the newborns outside what is considered the cats' core area have buoyed the hopes of biologists overseeing the restoration of the long-haired mountain feline to the Centennial State. (AP Photo/Colorado Division of Wildlife)

(AP) -- The discovery of 10 lynx kittens this spring marks the first newborns documented in Colorado since 2006, heartening biologists overseeing restoration of the mountain feline.

The tuft-eared cats with big, padded feet were native to Colorado, but were wiped out by the early 1970s by logging, trapping, poisoning and development. They are listed as threatened on the endangered species list.

found no kittens the past two years, possibly partly because of a drop in the number of snowshoe hares, the cats' main .

This year, seven male and three female kittens were found in five dens.

More than 200 from Alaska and Canada have been released in Colorado since 1999. Biologists don't know how many lynx are currently in the state.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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