More About What's Going on In Arizona:
The Arizona Fish and Game Department estimates that annual lion harvests range somewhere between 250 and 350 animals per year, with 12 percent attributed to predator control efforts. Hunting methods permitted in Arizona are nearly unrestricted. The use of artificial light (spotlighting) is permitted, and dogs may be used to corner or tree lions to aid in the success of the hunt. Depredation law in Arizona allows landowner or lessee to take any depredating lion using leg hold traps without teeth, leg snares, firearms, and "other legal hunting weapons and devices."
Furthermore, according to Arizona’s predator management policy the AZGFD may design lion take limits for hunters, trappers, and department personnel to promote larger ungulate (deer, elk, bighorn sheep, etc.) populations for hunting.
Here's what you can do:
- Build a coalition to learn from and educate people on how to peacefully coexist with the mountain lion population.
- Contribute a positive voice. Write a letter to your local newspaper expressing your excitement about local mountain lions and your views on the importance of protecting them.
- Distribute educational information on how residents can protect their pets and livestock. Consider animal shelters, veterinary clinics, 4H clubs, Scouting organizations, FFA, shooting clubs, and any other pertinent public locations as potential outlets.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest local officials friendly to mountain lion conservation in Arizona.
- Become familiar with Arizona hunting and wildlife policies. Reach out to MLF and wildlife experts. Then attend relevant town, commission and council meetings and ask them to:
- Develop a Mountain Lion Management Plan that will protect mountain lion habitat
- Call for a habitat impact assessment to be conducted prior to expanding human development
- Demand an economic analysis of taxpayer costs involved in state mountain lion kills
- Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions in Arizona? Write to them:
- Request to shorten the mountain lion hunting season
- Request the removal of mountain lions from game species classification
- Ask them to ensure non-lethal steps are required to remove or deter mountain lions from damaging property before considering lethal action.
- Demand a stop to the use of hounds and artificial light when hunting lions.
Long term Steps:
- Request to meet with your state legislators to talk about developing a liability initiative to incentivize or require owners be take certain measures to protect their pets or livestock from mountain lions.
- Write to state officials and challenge the morality and effectiveness of the state predator management policy especially as it pertains to the Catalina bighorn sheep reintroduction