10/22/2010 04:38 PM ET
The regulations were challenged by two wildlife advocacy groups who claimed that they posed a danger to the threatened Canada lynx.
A federal appeals panel has turned back an effort to impose a permanent injunction on Maine’s trapping regulations to protect the threatened Canada lynx.
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholds a lower court ruling that allowed Maine’s trapping rules to remain in effect.
The rules were challenged by the Animal Welfare Institute and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, which contended that certain traps allowed in Maine for other species might snag a Canada lynx, a species that’s listed as threatened by the federal government.
The court said the plaintiffs failed to prove that lynx suffer serious physical injury from incidental takes in so-called foothold traps. He said there’s no evidence that trapping is hurting Maine’s Canada lynx population.
State officials estimate that Maine’s Canada lynx population now numbers about 1,000. They say since 1999, only two lynx have been killed by legally set traps. The state’s general trapping season opens Oct. 31.