Jenny, what one does in a single-blind test is submit test samples to the lab from two populations, known and unknown. In this case they would have been captive samples and field samples. Whether the known samples were lynx or bobcat is immaterial to the point.
Immaterial to whether they acted improperly, I agree! Look, in light of your background explanation of what a proper procedure would entail, it's obvious they acted improperly. At this point I'm trying to figure out if they were merely lazy, arrogant, & incompetent (what they're essentially arguing) or if they indeed were trying to fraudulently plant lynx into the actual data.
Whether it was lynx or bobcat should be material to that second question, because it reveals whether their stated rationale is internally consistent.
If you suspected false positive hits for lynx & wanted to test the lab for it during the next survey (assuming you were arrogant/lazy enough not to care about doing it right as part of a standard protocol), which kind of hair would you insert - lynx or bobcat? It seems obvious that it would be bobcat, to confirm your suspicions that the lab was misreading it as lynx. But they didn't do that, they did the opposite: They inserted lynx hairs. I'm just saying their specific actions contradict their cover story.
Which is why I'm starting to agree with you that it must be a coverup on some level. Don't you see that?