Take Action Home >

Ban Snares to Protect Endangered Canada Lynx in Minnesota

11,011 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

36.70% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Urge the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to ban the use of snares in the Lynx Management Zone and throughout the state where endangered species make their habitat!


Canada Lynx are felines that live in North America's boreal forests and are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, with only 50 to 200 believed to be living in Minnesota at any given time1. Since 2008, the DNR has recorded at least nine lynx accidentally trapped in Minnesota2.

A federal judge has since ordered the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop using most snares in northeastern Minnesota to protect the endangered Canada Lynx3. The order comes after the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the DNR. The order applies to the Lynx Management Zone, which covers most of northeastern Minnesota. It prohibits the use of neck snares unless they are set in water or have measures in place to prevent catching and killing lynx4. The use of leg-hold traps that are large enough to capture lynx is also banned5.

The use of snares has long been a point of controversy among environmentalists and animal welfare advocates. Opponents argue that these traps are inhumane and often catch unintended animals, leading to injuries and deaths6. The Minnesota Trappers Association and other industry groups have opposed the recent consent decree, arguing that trapping is a vital part of Minnesota's heritage and economy7.

However, the federal judge ruled in favor of the consent decree, stating that it was "fair, reasonable, and consistent with the governing law8." The Lynx Management Zone essentially covers most of northeastern Minnesota and prohibits the use of strangulation snares unless they are set in water or have several precautions in place to prevent accidentally catching and killing lynx9. Leg-hold traps that are large enough to capture lynx are also banned. These new regulations are designed to prevent the needless and agonizing deaths of these rare cats, as well as other unintended victims like dogs.

Trapping is not only cruel, but it is also an inefficient and unsustainable method of controlling animal populations10. Studies have shown that trapping can actually increase populations of certain animals and lead to the spread of disease11. Furthermore, the use of snares and other trapping methods can cause damage to the environment and disrupt the delicate balance of ecosystems. This can lead to the extinction of species and the loss of biodiversity, which is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems and a habitable planet12.

The recent ruling follows a lawsuit filed in 2020 and extensive negotiations between the DNR and Center for Biological Diversity13. With these new regulations in place, the risk of accidentally trapping and killing Canada lynx or other unintended victims will be significantly reduced, but the risk will not be eliminated unless the use of snares and other trapping methods are completely banned, particularly in areas where endangered species make their habitat.

The protection of endangered species is crucial for the health of our ecosystems and the survival of future generations. Sign the petition and urge the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to ban the use of snares in the Lynx Management Zone and throughout the state of Minnesota where endangered species make their habitat!

More on this issue:

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, "Canada Lynx."
  2. Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune (21 February 2023), "Snares banned in Minnesota's Arrowhead to protect endangered Canada lynx population."
  3. Dan Kraker, MPR News (21 February 2023), "Judge restricts trapping to protect Minnesota's threatened lynx."
  4. Collette Adkins, The Center for Biological Diversity, "Court Rules Minnesota Lawsuit to Protect Lynx From Fur Trapping Can Continue."
  5. Greg Seitz, Quetico Superior Wilderness News (23 February 2023), "Environmentalists and DNR agree to restrict trapping and protect endangered Canada lynx."
  6. Emily Alpert Reyes, Project Coyote (9 April 2014), "Animal traps that grip or snare are banned in L.A. as ‘inhumane’."
  7. Eric Morken, Park Rapids Enterprise (27 February 2021), "Minnesota trappers fight public perception, dwindling participation."
  8. Collette Adkins, Center for Biological Diversity (21 February 2023), "Legal Win Protects Minnesota’s Rare Lynx From Cruel, Indiscriminate Trapping."
  9. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (6 September 2013), "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Contiguous U.S. Distinct Population Segment of the Canada Lynx and Revised Distinct Population Segment Boundary."
  10. WildEarth Guardians (2022), "End Cruel Trapping."
  11. Born Free USA (19 November 2001), "Exposing the Myths: The Truth about Trapping."
  12. Joe J. Figel, Muhammad Hambal, Ivan Krisna, Rudi Putra, and Dedi Yansyah, Tropical Conservation Science (9 February 2021), "Malignant Snare Traps Threaten an Irreplaceable Megafauna Community."
  13. John Myers, Park Rapid Enterprise (18 December 2020), "Group sues Minnesota DNR for failing to protect lynx."
To Top

The Petition:

To the Director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,

We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who are deeply troubled by the continued use of inhumane trapping methods, such as snares, in northeastern Minnesota. We believe that these methods pose a serious threat to the endangered Canada lynx and other vulnerable wildlife.

We are aware that a recent court order has banned the use of most snares in the Lynx Management Zone, but we feel that this is not enough. We urge you to take more aggressive action to protect endangered species by completely banning the use of snares and other cruel trapping methods in areas where endangered species make their habitat.

Trapping is an outdated and unsustainable method of controlling animal populations that not only causes suffering but also disrupts the delicate balance of ecosystems. Studies have shown that trapping can actually increase populations of certain animals, as well as lead to the spread of disease.

We believe that the protection of endangered species is crucial for the health of our ecosystems and the survival of future generations. Therefore, we ask that you take immediate action to ban the use of snares in the Lynx Management Zone and throughout the state of Minnesota, where endangered species make their habitat.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

To Top

Signatures: