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College of Arts and Sciences Lynx

Canada lynx disappearing from Washington state

A lynx.Canada lynx are losing ground in Washington state, even as federal officials are taking steps to remove the species’ threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.

A massive monitoring study led by WSU researchers has found lynx on only about 20% of its potential habitat in the state. The results paint an alarming picture not only for the persistence of lynx but also many other cold-adapted species, said Dan Thornton, an assistant professor in the School of the Environment.

“Lynx are good sentinel species for climate change,” said Thornton, the corresponding author on » More …

Living at the edges

LynxResembling an overgrown house cat with black-tipped ears and a stubby tail, the Canada lynx, a native of North America, teeters on the brink of extinction in the U.S. The few lynx that now roam parts of Washington and the mountainous Northwest survive largely because of a network of protected landscapes that crosses the U.S.–Canada border.

WSU environmental researchers believe this transboundary landscape provides not only essential habitat for the wild cats but likely also vital » More …

WSU undergraduate receives Sigma Xi research grant

Sigma XI logoAnnMarie McCracken, a student at WSU Pullman, has been awarded one of only 17 undergraduate research grants from the international scientific research honor society Sigma Xi  and its Grants‑in‑Aid of Research program.

McCracken is pursuing a double degree and plans to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and French. She will receive financial support from the program’s ecology category for » More …

To catch a cat

TTravis King travels through a Costa Rican swamp at Tortuguero National Park in 2014, with a team from Panthera and local guides.rekking through one of the largest unexplored rainforests in the world, La Mosquitia in Honduras, Travis King set up traps last spring to catch jaguars—or whatever other animal came into range of the cameras.

King, a WSU environmental science graduate student, was one of 12 biologists conducting the first biological survey of the area known as La Ciudad Blanca or the Lost City of the Monkey God, astounding ruins first identified in 2012.

It was already familiar work for King, who has used remote-sensing camera traps and other methods to identify the behavior and distribution of elusive big cats from Costa Rica, Honduras, and Belize all the way to central Washington. » More …

Photographing the elusive, endangered lynx

Deep in the forests of Washington’s Kettle Mountains, Washington State University wildlife biologist Daniel Thornton searches for signs of a rare and elusive type of wild cat — the lynx.

An assistant professor in the School of Environmental Science, Thornton and environmental science graduate students Travis King and Arthur Scully are helping to lead the largest lynx camera survey ever done in the state this June-October.

The goal of the multiyear research project is to understand the distribution and abundance of Washington’s lynx in order to develop an informed plan for their conservation and recovery. The project is sponsored by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Fish and Wildlife, Conservation Northwest, Osprey Insights, Seattle City Light and the U.S. Forest Service. » More …