BILLINGS, Mont. -- A federal judge says the U.S. government was wrong to exclude portions of five western states when it designated critical habitat for the imperiled Canada lynx.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Montana issued an order Wednesday requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider adding habitat for the wild cats in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
Christensen agreed with the government that a critical habitat designation wasn't needed in portions of Oregon and Washington state.
Lynx are elusive, forest-dwelling animals.
They've been listed as a threatened species since 2000, but a dispute lingers as to where they should receive the strongest protections.
Wildlife advocates sued the government in 2014 after areas including the southern Rockies were left out of almost 40,000 square miles of critical habitat.
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