News release: DNR finalizes trapping rule changes to minimize accidental take of lynx

March 31, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has finalized trapping rule changes to help minimize the risk of accidental take of federally-threatened Canada lynx in Minnesota.

In February, Federal District Court Judge Eric C. Tostrud approved a settlement developed by the DNR and the Center for Biological Diversity that includes additional limits on the type of snares that can be used and the way snares can be set in northeastern Minnesota.

“We will move forward with implementing the agreed-upon changes and believe these steps will further reduce the already low accidental mortality of lynx from trapping,” said John Erb, DNR research biologist.

The consent decree resolves an action brought by the Center for Biological Diversity in 2020 related to Canada lynx protections.

The number of lynx in Minnesota is very hard to determine, but estimates put the population between 100 to 300. Since 2008, the DNR’s records show there was an average of one accidental trapping mortality of Canada lynx every other year. Trapping is not the leading source of human-caused lynx mortality in Minnesota. While such incidental takes affect individual lynx, they do not threaten the sustainability of Minnesota’s lynx population. Vehicles are the leading cause of lynx mortalities in Minnesota.

Trappers can find the specific changes related to snares that will be in place for the 2023-2024 trapping season, as well as more information about trapping in Minnesota, on the DNR trapping page.

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