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Genetic lynx: North American lynx make one huge family

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8:09am, January 30, 2002

A new study of lynx in North America suggests the animals interbreed widely, sometimes with populations thousands of kilometers away. This genetic finding could be a boon for conservationists hoping to secure the cats future.

The Canada lynx has recently been officially designated as a threatened species in the United States, spurring studies of the animals distribution and behavior. Researchers have been squabbling over one thorny issue for decades: Do lynx populations live in isolated pockets or travel long distances to mix with other groups? Lots of long-distance interaction might point toward policies that maintain connections between known lynx habitats.

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