BRUNSWICK, Vt. (AP) — Sightings of Canada lynx are on the rise in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Fish and Wildlife Department plans to do surveys to determine the extent and distribution of the animals in the state.
Between the late 1700s and the early 2000s, there were just four confirmed sightings of the carnivorous feline species in Vermont but sightings have been increasing every year since 2003, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department said Tuesday.
Lynx, which are listed as threatened under the federal endangered species act and as endangered in Vermont, are rarely seen because they are nocturnal and secretive.
The most confirmed sighting have been on publicly owned lands in the Nulhegan Basin at Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Essex County, said Chris Bernier, a state biologist.
‘‘These large, unbroken tracts of mixed-conifer forest are perfect for this species and their primary prey, the snowshoe hare,’’ he said. ‘‘We were all very excited when lynx sightings started popping up again in Vermont.’’