Accidental Contamination of Samples Used in Canadian Lynx Study Rendered the Study's Preliminary Conclusion Invalid

GAO-01-1018R: Published: Aug 14, 2001. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2001.

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This report discusses the validity of the results of a 1998 study of the Canadian lynx. The Forest Service contracted with Dr. John Weaver of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City to help survey the Canadian lynx in the Cascade Mountains of Washington and Oregon. In a March 1999 interim report, Dr. Weaver concluded that the Canadian lynx lives in some forests in Washington and Oregon. In March 2000, the Fish and Wildlife Service placed the lynx on its list of threatened species in the forested portions of 13 states, including Washington and Oregon. Issues have since been raised about whether the study's results were falsified. GAO found no evidence that the study was deliberately falsified.

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