- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

TOWNSHIP 14 RANGE 7, Maine (AP) - Two rare Canada lynx have been shot dead, and state and federal wildlife authorities are investigating.

The Maine Warden Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Friday that the lynx were killed in northern Oxford and Aroostook counties in mid-November.

Lynx, wild cats that are generally found in Alaska and Canada but also in Northern and Northeastern U.S. states, are listed as a threatened species under U.S. endangered species laws. Killing a lynx unlawfully carries a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to one year.

The warden service said lynx are increasing in population in Maine, with estimates of between 750 and 1,000 in the state.

Maine is the only state in the Northeast that has a resident breeding population of lynx. Its lynx are the southern edge of a larger population based in Quebec and New Brunswick.

One of the lynx was shot and found dead alongside a logging road near Portage Lake in Township 14 Range 7 on Nov. 17, the warden service said. The other is believed to have been shot around Nov. 15 on a logging road near the New Hampshire border and Aziscohos Lake.

Lynx look similar to bobcats, which are more common in the state and are the subject of a legal hunting season from Dec. 1 to Feb. 14.

Maine Operation Game Thief is offering a $2,500 reward to anyone with information that leads to a conviction stemming from either lynx death. The Fish and Wildlife Service is doing the same. The Maine Trappers Association is offering a $500 reward per conviction.

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