Articles, opinions, and editorials about mountain lions and the Mountain Lion Foundation.
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Governor's Review of South Dakota's State Game Agency Released (10/8/2013)
The findings of an independent review of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Park's (SDGFP) Big Game Management Program were released to the public Thursday afternoon. The section pertaining to the Department's management of mountain lions held few surprises. It discusses the general aspects of SDGFP's mountain lion management plan, and compares it to those from other states. The report also noted that SDGFP was following the plan's goals and objectives.
However, the reviewers did not comment on whether or not South Dakota's mountain lion management plan was flawed, nor does it mention the many technical errors and mistaken assumptions that were brought up by the plan's critics. Furthermore, the goals SDGFP is supposedly following ("to monitor and maintain mountain lion populations and habitats consistent with ecological, social, aesthetics and economic values of Dakota citizens while addressing the concerns and issues of both residents and visitors of South Dakota.") are so vague it is hard to consider them as objective metrics.
Reviewers did note the flaw in SDGFP's lion research process which has links back to the plan's validity question. According to the report. ". . . . the Department is entirely dependent on a single researcher at SDSU to provide outside support. While this has the advantage of building on a long history and experience with lion research, it also leaves the Department vulnerable to criticism about the breadth of its research capacity . . . ."
The report also reiterated the Department's objective to reduce the post-2014 hunting season in the Black Hills lion population to 150 animals, but it fails to clarify if that number includes kittens unable to survive on their own.
Taken in all, the report basically says that the SDGFP is doing a good job of following its own goals and objectives but falls silent on their merits.
Click here to read the full report, or click the icon to read just the mountain lion section.
(Article #1465) To read the actual news story click here...
South Dakota Sets its 2014 Lion Hunting Quotas (10/4/2013)
Despite arguments by conservationists that South Dakota's local mountain population was struggling from years of over hunting, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission set the 2014 lion hunting quota Thursday at 50 females or 75 total lions for the Black Hills hunting region.
The Black Hills' lion hunting season would close on March 31st or the day after one of those limits is reached.
South Dakota's "Prairie" hunting season will remain open year-round and its numbers will not be considered as a deterring factor in closing South Dakota's lion hunting season. Six mountain lions — young dispersing males — have been killed in South Dakota's Prairie hunting region so far this year.
With a statewide population of approximately 200 lions, allowing hunters to annually kill 50 to 75 causes a huge disruption in the natural balance of the lion population.
In addition, another 25 lions are typically killed each year for depredation, public safety, roadkill and poaching.
Annually killing half of the lion population is far from sustainable, and it significantly reduces the recovery of the species in surrounding midwest and prairie states. (Article #1464) To read the actual news story click here...
Lion Spotted Along Missouri River (10/2/2013)
The US Army Corp of Engineers recently posted a photograph of a mountain lion taken at night on a trail camera placed near the Oahe Dam in South Dakota. This structure is located on the Missouri River just north of the state capital of Pierre.
The Missouri River roughly cuts South Dakota in half and is in the middle of what is referred to as the "prairie" hunting district. The prairie hunting district has a year-round, no limit hunting season on mountain lions. Lions killed in this hunting district are not counted towards the state's annual hunting quota which is going to be determined at tomorrow's game commission hearing in Spearfish.
Since the beginning of this year six male lions, young adults dispersing from their mothers in the Black Hills, have be killed.
(Article #1463) To read the actual news story click here...
13th Florida Panther Killed by Motor Vehicle This Year (9/23/2013)
Since the mid-1970s, millions of dollars have been spent trying to save and recover the faltering mountain lion population in Florida.
Known locally as the Florida Panther, this isolated remnant of the far ranging species — best estimates place it at 100 to 160 lions — is trapped in the southwestern tip of the state.
Decades of effort on the part of state and federal agencies and NGOs could pay off with a healthy, sustainable population if only so many weren't killed every year by speeding automobiles.
Last Friday marked the 13th such fatal incident this year with the death of a 4-year-old male panther in Collier County.
According to wildlife officials, the panther did not die immediately at the scene of the accident.
The cat was rushed to a wildlife care facility where it received emergency care, but later died from its injuries.
Out of the 16 known panther deaths so far this year, 13 have been the result of automobile accidents.
In the last ten years, more than 125 panthers have been road-killed in Florida. This is the leading cause of death for the endangered felines, followed by interactions with other lions.
Panthers, especially adult males, will kill other cats to defend their territory. With development on the rise, habitat loss and interactions will continue to threaten the long-term survival of the Florida panther.
(Article #1462) To read the actual news story click here...
Two Orphaned Lions Tragically Killed in Colorado (9/13/2013)
Last Sunday, in a tragic example of the dangers facing orphaned mountain lions kittens, a USDA Wildlife Service agent shot and killed two sub-adult lions near a KOA campground about four miles north of Ouray, Colorado.
The young littermates, orphaned last fall when their mother was hit by a car, were killed for preying on a 48-year-old pet hinny (a cross between a pony and a burro) that was kept, along with two miniature burros, in a corral designed to keep livestock in, not keep predators out.
Identification tags on the dead lions revealed they were the malnourished cubs trapped last fall and taken to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's (CPW) Frisco Creek wildlife facility. The facility, which concentrates on rehabilitating carnivores, raised the two lions in a large cage, with limited exposure to humans. While in captivity, their primary food source was road kill along with the occasional live rabbit, to hone their hunting skills.
The young lions were released into their home area in Ouray County about a month ago. CPW commonly releases rehabilitated animals within 10 miles of where they were originally found — "in an area they perhaps have some memory of, some familiarity with," CPW Southwest Region Public Information Officer Joe Lewandowski explained. "You don't want to put lions in a new area, because other lions have already carved out their territory."
"It's not an exact science," he added in reference to CPW's rehabilitation program for mountain lions, "but it's what we have done for years and generally it works well." Nonetheless, he observed, "We live in an area where we have wildlife and where we have predators. Most people understand that's the world we live in, here in western Colorado."
"Obviously, these guys just chose the wrong meal, and went after livestock," Del Piccolo added. "We actually have fairly good luck raising orphaned cubs, and they generally don't get into trouble again, but these guys did, and they did really quickly."
Recent scientific research has found that young sub-adult lions, and especially orphaned kittens, are most likely to prey on domestic livestock. One explanation is their lack of training and inexperience in hunting wild prey.
(Article #1461) To read the actual news story click here...
Wild Things Film Screening in Santa Rosa (9/12/2013)
The Mountain Lion Foundation invites you to a FREE screening of the documentary Wild Things.
This 38-minute film introduces audiences to progressive ranchers learning to coexist with native carnivores. The film will be followed by a panel discussion of wildlife experts and predator friendly ranchers.
When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
7:00 film screening, followed by a panel discussion
Where: Person Auditorium, Finley Community Center
2060 West College Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
VIEW THE EVENT FLIER
More about the Wild Things Documentary:
Many ranchers are rejecting the old practice of killing large carnivores to protect livestock. Instead, they are increasingly using new technology and old methods of animal husbandry to coexist with carnivores.
Native carnivores bring balance to the landscape and keep ecosystems healthy. But they can also be seen as a threat to livestock, and for decades government trappers have killed them in large numbers. The U.S.D.A.'s Wildlife Services program kills tens of thousands of native carnivores annually, often at the demand of the ranching industry. It is a battle against nature that is costly, brutal, and not very effective. Does the battle really need to be fought? Wild Things introduces audiences to progressive ranchers learning to coexist with these animals and features scientists, conservationists and even former Wildlife Services trappers, who believe it is time for a major change in the way we treat our magnificent native carnivores.
(Article #1460) To read the actual news story click here...
Three New California Mountain Lion Research Projects (9/11/2013)
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently started the 30-day public comment period on three proposed mountain lion research projects.
The first, known as the "Santa Cruz Puma Project" will evaluate the relationship between landscape features, energetic demand, physiological capabilities, and foraging strategies of the mountain lion. For the first time, field energetic costs of a large carnivorous felid will be measured and related to the behavior and ecology of individual animals.
The second project, titled, "Intent to collar and monitor mountain lions in the Kings River Area of the Sierra National Forest," is principally intended to determine whether the movement patterns of regional mountain lions and fishers intersect, and to generate a risk-based habitat model for fishers based on that data.
The third, referred to as the "East Bay Puma Project," will use a combination of "intensive field tracking, remote cameras, lightweight GPS collars, GIS spatial modeling, and advanced genetics," to study mountain lions on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay. Project proponents will use the gathered data to, among other things, determine the genetic health of the local lion population and identify movement barriers.
The public comment period for the first research project ends October 3rd, 2013. The other two projects end their comment period on October 6th, 2013. An executive summary of each project may be found on MLF's website at:
Copies of the draft Mountain Lion Scientific Collection Permits are available upon request to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Branch. 1812 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95811.
(Article #1459) To read the actual news story click here...
Another "Treed" Lion is Killed by Police (9/9/2013)
At the same time Friday Californian's were celebrating the passage of Senate Bill 132 — a mountain lion protection measure that requires the use of nonlethal procedures when dealing with wayward lions that don't pose an imminent threat to humans — Sheridan, Wyoming police were demonstrating why this landmark law is needed throughout our nation.
The unfortunate lion in question was first spotted in a vacated alley in a residential section of town. Subsequent containment activities by the Sheridan Police Department led to the mountain lion being treed, and later killed.
Information has not been made available to the public as to the age, sex or physical condition of the animal nor why first responders felt it necessary to shoot rather than haze or relocate.
(Article #1458) To read the actual news story click here...
No More Unnecessary Killings! (9/6/2013)
Landmark lion protection legislation passed today when California Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 132. This is a first of its kind piece of legislation built on decades of scientific knowledge to define what exactly "imminent threat to public health and safety" means in regards to mountain lions. The bill requires the use of nonlethal procedures for dealing with those lions that come into contact with humans, yet do not meet the threshold of imminent threat.
SB 132 also gives the California Department of Fish and Wildlife the authority to partner with qualified individuals and NGOs to assist them in carrying out these new duties.
Click here to learn more about SB 132.
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(Article #1454) To read the actual news story click here...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Comment Period for Designating Critical Habitat for Jaguars (9/3/2013)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has reopened the comment period on the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Jaguar (Panthera onca) under the Federal Endangered Species Act.
The additional comment period is in response to multiple requests for an extension to the comment period that ended on August 9.
The USFWS is soliciting new comments through September 13, 2013. Previously submitted comments need not be resubmitted.
For more information on the proposed rule, maps, supporting analysis and other details about the jaguar visit: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Jaguar.htm
To submit comments online, go to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R2-ES-2012-0042-0259
Or comment letters can be mailed to:
Public Comments Processing
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203
(Article #1453) To read the actual news story click here...
Rare Sighting of a Lion Along LA Highway (8/30/2013)
Last Sunday, some lucky Los Angeles motorists were given the opportunity to view a very rare sight. A mountain lion, known to National Park Service (NPS) researchers as P-23, was spotted killing a deer alongside the Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area.
The incident, captured on film by Motorcyclist Irv Nilsen, shows P-23 straddling her downed prey just before she drags it off into the brush to eat.
P-23, a young female who just recently left her mother, is just one of 22 mountain lions outfitted with GPS tracking collars that the National Park Service has been monitoring since 2002 to better understand how human development and urbanization is impacting the large cats.
According to NPS researchers, P-23's home range in the Santa Monica Mountains is not significantly different from other lions that live in areas with little or no urban development. The typical territory for these adult male lions averages about 200 square miles and 75 square miles for adult females.
Since trophy hunting of mountain lions was banned 23-years-ago in California with the passage of Proposition 117, the biggest threat to mountain lions in that state now is the loss and fragmentation of habitat by roads and urban development. Two major freeways slice through the Santa Monica mountain range (the 405 and the 101) creating isolated islands of habitat that are almost impossible to escape from. Rodenticides — rat poisons — also threaten these urban edge lions, who feed on poisoned rodents or other animals that have ingested said toxic creatures.
For more information, visit the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area's Facebook page.
(Article #1452) To read the actual news story click here...
No Room for Lions in Pennsylvania (8/28/2013)
Earlier this week, representatives of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the state Fish and Boat Commission and the Sierra Club, testified against pending legislation at a joint public hearing on a proposed reduction in state environmental regulations on industry.
The considered legislation, House Bill 1576, would supposedly "standardize" the state process for designating species of fish, wildlife or plants as endangered or threatened, and for designating waterways as wild trout streams.
According to the hearing's chair, Representative Martin Causer, R-Turtlepoint, HB 1576 would "balance" the protection of endangered species in Pennsylvania "against excessive government regulation."
"We can't run jobs and business out of the state just because species are threatened with extinction," stated Representative Causer.
State Representative Steve McCarter went on record opposing the rest of the legislators hearing testimony arguing that additional oversight would make the process too lengthy and "shifts analysis to non-experts."
"It puts it to an IRRC process that is another set of eyes, but not experts, then potentially to the House and Senate ... we aren't scientists or experts," McCarter stated. "There are species in dramatic situations — 99 percent of some are gone already and still haven't made it on a list."
"This could push us back to a time before Teddy Roosevelt when the robber barons made the decisions for us," he added.
Pennsylvania Game Commission press secretary Travis Lau stated that the agency is on record opposing the HB 1576 for a number of reasons. "If the bill were to go through, it would leave endangered and threatened species more vulnerable."
However, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, while touting the need for wildlife diversity, also apparently believes that said diversity should only go so far.
"Wildlife diversity is important to any species, including humans," Lau said. "However, species like eastern cougar will never be welcomed back. They are native, but they were eliminated for a reason. There's really no room in Pennsylvania for them anymore."
Based on those statements it makes one wonder exactly how committed to the protection of Pennsylvania's endangered species the Game Commission really is.
(Article #1451) To read the actual news story click here...
Californa Senate Bill 132 Passes Out of the State Legislature (8/26/2013)
Senate Bill 132 has passed out of the California Legislature today with a 35 to 2 vote on the Senate floor.
By requiring the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to utilize non-lethal capture procedures for mountain lions which pose no actual threat to humans, SB 132 codifies the growing public contention in California that lions shouldn't be killed just because they've come into contact with humans. The bill also provides CDFW with the authorization to partner with qualified individuals and NGOs who might be able to assist the Department in carrying out its new "non-lethal" duties.
Senate Bill 132 will now go to the Governor for signing into law. We need your help to urge Governor Brown to sign this bill. Please visit our SB 132 page for more information.
(Article #1450) To read the actual news story click here...
Florida Panthers and Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers Sue Collier County, Florida (8/23/2013)
Suit was filed Wednesday against Collier County. The lead plaintiffs are listed as "Florida panthers" and "red-cockaded woodpeckers."
The lawsuit was sparked by a warning sent last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to Collier County officials informing them that their recent settlement agreement with HHH Ranch "may have violated" the Federal Endangered Species Act. The letter went on to state, "The activities the county has approved . . . could result in the take of federally protected species, and the county could be liable for violating federal law."
USFWS' warning was aimed at protecting Florida panthers and red-cockaded woodpeckers, two species on the endangered species list that have been found on the 1,100-acre HHH Ranch near Naples, Florida.
The USFWS letter also noted that the owners of the ranch have been allowed by Collier County to clear land, cut timber, extend a road and push ahead with plans for a rock mine despite a local land use rule which bans mining and limits development in North Belle Meade. That particular rule was emplaced in 2002 to better protect the aquifer and wildlife habitat.
HHH Ranch's attorney called USFWS' letter "a scare tactic" based on one-sided information. He claims that the ranch's landowners have repeatedly consulted with biologists on how to avoid harming panthers or woodpeckers.
Co-plaintiffs in the suit include the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Collier County Audubon Society.
(Article #1449) To read the actual news story click here...
40th Confirmed Sighting of a Mountain Lion in Missouri (8/22/2013)
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has announced the 40th confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in that state since 1994. The confirmation is based on an image of the lion recorded on June 29th by a trail camera in Pulaski County.
According to MDC's Mountain Lion Response Team, evidence indicates the mountain lions being spotted are most likely from states to the west and are passing through Missouri in search of mates or territory.
To learn more about mountain lions in Missouri visit MLF's state page and view a six minute YouTube video created by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
(Article #1448) To read the actual news story click here...
Senate Bill 132 passes the California Assembly (8/20/2013)
Twenty-three years ago, Proposition 117, the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990, was groundbreaking in its protection of mountain lions. Now, California Senate Bill 132 utilizes the scientific knowledge gained over the years to continue the tradition of this landmark legislation.
SB 132 delineates exactly what "imminent threat to public health and safety" means, and for those incidents which are not deemed life threatening, SB 132 would require CDFW to utilize non-lethal procedures when dealing with mountain lions that come into contact with humans. SB 132 also authorizes CDFW to partner with those qualified individuals and NGOs that might be able to assist the Department in carrying out its new "non-lethal" duties.
More information about Senate Bill 132, its history and status can be found here.
Senate Bill 132 is expected to appear on the Senate floor for a concurrence vote on Thursday, August 22nd.
(Article #1447) To read the actual news story click here...
15th Florida Panther Killed This Year (8/19/2013)
A three-year-old, uncollared female panther was found dead Monday after being struck by a vehicle along Interstate 75. This is the twelfth mortal accident involving cars and panthers in Florida this year and brings the annual death toll to 15.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission list the other causes of panther deaths as unknown or fights with other panthers. Scientists estimate that there are between 100 and 160 wild panthers left in Florida, with even this small number of animals running out of room due to human development.
(Article #1446) To read the actual news story click here...
Florida Fish and Wildlife Proves Once Again - Most Lion Sightings are False (8/16/2013)
A year ago, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) set up a new website and invited the public to submit reports of any sightings or signs of the elusive Florida panther. But out of the 790 reports submitted, FFWCC biologists were only able to verify that five percent were actual sightings of panthers.
In fact, the very first submitted report, along with its photographic evidence, turned out to actually be a photograph of a rhesus macaque monkey roaming the woods near Silver Springs.
According to Darrell Land, Head of the FFWCC's panther team, the genuine panther sightings that appeared on the wildlife commission's website were mixed with sightings of bobcats, foxes, coyotes, dogs and one that was almost as puzzling as the monkey.
"I had a biology professor from a community college who said he saw one at Sebastian Inlet," Land said. When state biologists checked his photo though, Land said they had to tell the professor, "Dude, that is a black house cat."
(Article #1445) To read the actual news story click here...
Senate Bill 132 passes the California Assembly's Appropriations Committee (8/15/2013)
Yesterday, the California Assembly's Appropriations Committee passed Senate Bill 132.
For those incidents which are not deemed life threatening, SB 132 would require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to utilize non-lethal procedures when dealing with mountain lions that come into contact with humans.
SB 132 would also authorize CDFW to partner with those qualified individuals and NGOs that might be able to assist the Department in carrying out its new "non-lethal" duties. A good example of these potential cooperative efforts took place in mid-June when CDFW wardens and local law enforcement personnel worked with mountain lion researchers from U.C. Santa Cruz to tranquilize and relocate a mountain lion that had become trapped in a flood canal.
More information about Senate Bill 132, its history and status, as well as legislative contact information can be found here.
Senate Bill 132 is expected to appear on the Assembly floor for a vote on Monday, August 19th.
(Article #1444) To read the actual news story click here...
Young Wandering Lion Killed in Peoria Arizona (8/14/2013)
Last night, a Peoria, Arizona police officer shot and killed a mountain lion. The young lion was reportedly seen jumping from yard to yard in the Phoenix suburb that abuts an open space before being confronted by responding police and Arizona Game and Fish officers.
According to Peoria police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto, incident responders were attempting to capture the animal to return it to the wild, but at some point an officer felt threatened and shot the mountain lion.
Though a detailed explanation of the event's lethal outcome has not yet been made publicly available, Ms. Jacinto did recite the standard excuse that lion wasn't afraid of humans.
Arizona Game and Fish wardens took the lion carcass away for rabies testing.
(Article #1443) To read the actual news story click here...
NRA Adds Shadowy Network of Enviros and Zoos to their Enemies List (8/9/2013)
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is in an uproar over California's Assembly Bill 711. It claims that AB 711, which bans using lead ammunition for hunting, is a plot hatched up by radicals to ultimately ban hunting.
In order to rally its members to oppose the regulation, the NRA has concocted a conspiracy theory involving crooked scientists, phony research, and a shadowy network of nonprofits, zoos and government agencies.
"Self-proclaimed environmental organizations are pushing to prohibit the use of traditional lead ammunition in hunting and recreational shooting," the NRA said. "These radical groups are now going so far as to claim that eating wild game taken with lead ammunition is a serious health risk to hunters and families. Anti-lead ammunition groups will not rest until all lead ammunition, and ultimately hunting, is abandoned."
The NRA, which has long-labeled politicians and actors as "enemies" of guns, has now added the San Diego Zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, the California Condor Recovery Team, as well as assorted environmentalists and scientists to its list of enemies for their support of AB 711. The NRA claims these groups "have considerable influence over many legislators and regulators, which they use to 'capture' the regulatory agencies and bureaucrats responsible for lead ammunition restrictions."
The "listing" of these organizations is all part of a new campaign called Hunt for Truth launched by the NRA to, as they see it, expose and "fight back against the assault on traditional lead ammunition by targeting the groups and individuals behind this unconscionable attack on American values."
The NRA claims that the science backing AB 711 is murky and misleading, and driven by an anti-hunting, anti-gun agenda. In a press release announcing its revamped website, the NRA referred to its opponents—"these radical groups"—as "self-proclaimed" environmental organizations using "questionable scientific methodologies" to analyze "cherry-picked data."
The Natural Resources Defense Council, reacted with bafflement at the NRA's listing. "We don't have a problem with bullets or hunting," said Josh Mogerman of the Council. "We have a problem with lead: Lead in gas, lead in paint, lead in the air. It's a toxin that we need to get out of the environment since reams of science has shown it to be a problem to people and animals. If that somehow makes us an enemy, then we are in good company since most everyone recognizes the threat. Luckily, there are plenty of non-lead alternatives that perform the same or better than lead."
Despite the NRA's claims, several peer reviewed studies have shown that as many as 20 million birds, including endangered California condors, die each year from lead poisoning after ingesting bullet fragments. According to a statement from scientific experts in lead and environmental health, ammunition is likely the greatest unregulated source of lead released into the environment.
Assembly Bill 711 passed the Assembly in May and is currently working its way through the Senate.
(Article #1442) To read the actual news story click here...
California Wildlife Officials Say New Mountain Lion Policy Showing Positive Results (8/8/2013)
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), new public safety guidelines enacted after the killing of two starving mountain lion kittens in Half Moon Bay last December have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of lions being killed without increasing the risk to public safety.
The new Department guidelines, modeled in part on pending legislation (Senate Bill 132), allows for more non-lethal options when there is an interaction between a mountain lion and humans.
"Last year, I directed the department's leadership team to evaluate our guidelines on how we respond to interactions with mountain lions and bears to determine how we can do better," said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. "I'm pleased that we have struck the balance and are witnessing fewer mountain lions killed without sacrificing any wildlife officer's authority to make the correct public safety call for each situation."
Since the new policy was implemented, CDFW has ordered equipment for field staff to better handle the non-lethal means of handling human wildlife conflict calls. Many of the mountain lion and bear incidents that have happened have resulted in hazing wildlife away from the area of high public use or the darting and relocation of the animal, rather than lethal take. In one incident in January, a lion in Santa Barbara was relocated to the Los Padres National Forest. In another incident in Santa Cruz in May, a lion had fallen into a culvert and could not jump out. He was darted and later released in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest. These are just two of many incidents that have ended non-lethally.
"Sometimes you can find a mountain lion or bear in an unusual location otherwise behaving normally," said CDFW Law Enforcement Chief Mike Carion. "It isn't always a threat to public safety. Every situation is unique. We are pleased that this policy allows us to evaluate each situation carefully and to choose a solution which allows a co-existence between humans and wildlife while allowing discretion to act when there is a public safety issue."
KCOY Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo - News
(Article #1441) To read the actual news story click here...
High Water Levels in Everglades Could Threaten the Florida Panther (8/7/2013)
According to Commissioner Ron Bergeron of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, too much water is turning Florida's "River of Grass" into "Lake Everglades" and that could have a devastating impact on the Everglades and its inhabitants.
Record rainfall this spring and summer has led to the highest water levels ever recorded for this time of year in the Everglades water conservation areas, and with three more months of rainy season left, Commissioner Bergeron is concerned that there will be a repeat of the 1994 disaster where high water levels killed 80-90 percent of the white-tailed deer in the Everglades, along with raccoons, wild hogs, opossums, bobcats, rabbits and other wildlife. The animals either drowned, succumbed to disease from being crowded onto the few bits of high ground that weren't underwater or starved to death.
According to Commissioner Bergeron, 90 percent of the Everglades' tree islands are totally underwater and the deer and other wildlife are already stressed. If a tropical storm or hurricane were to hit South Florida now and dump even more rain, an environmental disaster is a certainty. Bergerson wants to preempt a possible wildlife die-off by allowing excess water to flow south under Tamiami Trail. From there it would go into Everglades National Park and the C-111 Canal on into Florida Bay. The problem is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead agency on Everglades restoration, has been slow to act.
Lt. Col. Thomas Greco, the Deputy District Commander for South Florida agrees that water needs to be sent south but he has two concerns. The first is delaying completion of the Tamiami Trail road construction project and second, possibly even damaging the road by raising water levels too high in the L-29 canal. "The last thing we want to do is jeopardize that road and our folks in dealing with construction for several more months," Greco said.
Bergeron, who has decades of road-building experience, said the road project is so far along that raising the water level in the adjacent canal would not affect it and if it looked like it might be an issue, the flow could be stopped.
"And even if the project was delayed 30 days,' said Bergeron, 'what's more important: Saving money on the road contract or saving the Everglades?"
(Article #1440) To read the actual news story click here...
Wayward Lion Captured and Relocated in Ft. Collins, Colorado (8/6/2013)
Fort Collins police and firefighters quickly responded to a 911 call about a mountain lion last Friday afternoon. The young lion was spotted hiding in a tree by Barzi, a Lhasa apso-mini poodle mix, near the home of her owner Stephanie Carney.
A public alert to stay indoors was sent out to neighbors and a four-block radius was cordoned off with yellow tape as responders waited for a veterinarian to arrive on the scene.
According to Mark Leslie, area wildlife manager with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, though dart guns were available they were not used because the mountain lion was low enough in the tree to be jabbed in the hindquarters with a hand-held tranquilizer.
After being jabbed with the tranquilizer, the lion ran about two blocks with firefighters and police following before finally collapsing in a backyard.
Four firefighters then carried the male lion, estimated to be 1 1/2-years-old and weighing 60 pounds to a nearby kennel, where it was later loaded on to a truck and relocated in the hills west of Fort Collins.
(Article #1439) To read the actual news story click here...
South Dakota Wants to Kill 75 Lions - No Matter How Long It Takes! (8/5/2013)
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission voted unanimously Friday for a 2014 mountain lion hunting season quota of 75 mountain lions or 50 females. This is a reduction from this year's quota of 100 lions or 50 females, but still far above the actual harvest numbers of 61 mountain lions including 35 females.
In a case of wanting x amount of lions killed, no matter how long it takes, the Commission discounted the fact that this year's hunting mortality numbers may be a result of population collapse and reserved the right to extend the season if once again the quota isn't met by March 31st.
(Article #1438) To read the actual news story click here...