Biologists have reported that North Dakota only has enough suitable mountain lion habitat to support a few dozen lions. Most of the state is flat, offers little cover, and during most of the year is too cold for a lion's liking (snow also means less food). Hunters completely eliminated mountain lions from North Dakota in 1902. Yet, in recent years, lion sightings have begun popping up and are slowly on the rise. A few cats appear to be establishing home ranges in the state. Researchers have started tracking the cats and are trying to capture them to put on radio collars to lean about the population. This all sounded great until the ND Game & Fish Department decided to use hunting as its primary research tool. The agency claims that by allowing residents to kill any cats that wander into the state, they will receive excellent information on the size, age, and sex ratio of the state's lion population. To help further their "research," they even increased this year's hunting quota to allow more lions to be killed. It appears North Dakota wants its lion population in plain view: dead, counted, and mounted on the wall. View or leave comments on this article.