- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - Biologists have begun a long-term monitoring program to determine how lynx are faring in the southern Rockies.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist Scott Wait said Tuesday the goal is to see if the general population of the large-footed felines is increasing or decreasing. The project, which began last fall, is taking place on 5,400 square miles in the San Juan Mountains and is expected to take 10 years to complete.

The state agency started reintroducing lynx in Colorado in 1999 after the animals hadn’t been detected in the state since the late 1970s. Lynx were trapped in Canada and Alaska and released in the San Juans.

From 1999 through 2006, 218 lynx equipped with radio collars were released. Monitoring continued through 2010, but by then most of the radio collars had stopped functioning.

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