June 29, 2009—The discovery of ten lynx kittens—including the young cat in this May 2009 picture—this spring marks the first time newborn lynx have been documented in Colorado since 2006, heartening biologists overseeing restoration of the mountain feline (lynx facts, map, and more).
The tuft-eared cats with big, padded feet are native to Colorado, but were wiped out by the early 1970s by logging, trapping, poisoning, and development. They are listed as threatened on the U.S. endangered species list.
Biologists had found no kittens in 2007 and 2008, possibly partly because of a drop in the number of snowshoe hares, the cats' main food sources.
This year seven male and three female kittens have been found in five dens.
More than 200 lynx from Alaska and Canada have been released in Colorado since 1999. Biologists don't know how many lynx are currently in the state.
(Also see "World's Rarest Cat Species Boosted by Newfound Lynx.")
—Judith Kohler in Denver, Colorado, for the Associated Press
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