BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Wildlife advocates want a federal judge to force the government to move more quickly on a recovery plan for imperiled Canada lynx.
The U.S. government declared the snow-loving big cats a threatened species across the Lower 48 states in 2000. But officials haven't come up with a mandated recovery plan.
After a federal judge criticized the delay, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed completing the plan by early 2018.
A coalition of wildlife advocacy groups says that's not soon enough. They're asking U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy to order the work done by late 2016.
Lynx are rarely seen and there's no reliable estimate of their population. Their 14-state range includes portions of the Northeast, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes and the Cascade Range of Washington and Oregon.