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    Environmentalists Stewing About Lion Killing - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Environmentalists Stewing About Lion Killing

    From this piece posted on AzCentral.com: Enviros say state cougar policy misses the point.

    The comments on that blog posting are disturbing. How some well-meaning (or not) people can be so detached from reality is amazing. There is erroneous information posted about the use of auction tags, about sound Wildlife Management techniques, about AZGF Department goals and more. For most of these folks, “Killing is bad”, no matter the circumstance. What many don’t seem to know, or care to admit - is that populations not managed by man are indeed corrected by Mother Nature - usually through starvation and disease.

    I think the Department as a whole does a pretty decent job of managing Arizona’s wildlife for everybody’s use - not just hunters. Funds are spent on management, preservation, habitat improvement, protection and enforcement for game and non-game species. Bird watchers, photographers, hikers and hunters all ultimately benefit from Department efforts. Monday-morning quarterbacking is easy, especially when you have no accountability to anyone. The Center For Biological Diversity is obstructionist and deceptive; nothing more.

    From the article at the link above:

    State officials say if they’d left the lion to roam the area in and around the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, the animal would have continued its deadly hunting spree, further thinning an already troubled herd. The state has killed three mountain lions in the Kofa range since 2007 as part of its bighorn management strategy.

    But conservation advocates believe Arizona is missing the big picture, blaming the big cats for a more complex set of wildlife habitat management problems in the remote region.

    “We’d like to see them take more meaningful steps that would be more important in the long run to the bighorn,” said Michael Robinson, who follows the issue for the Center for Biological Diversity. “They need to look at human impacts, various forms of habitat loss, the lack of access to adjoining habitat, drought. These should be addressed before putting all the blame on the cougars.”

    The state wildlife agency kees(sic) a close eye on mountain lions — also known as cougars — in the Kofa Mountains and the surrounding wildlife refuge, 665,000 acres of pristine desert east of U.S. 95 between Yuma and Quartzsite. The cats are active predators of the bighorn sheep herd, whose numbers have dwindled from about 800 in the early 1990s to about 400 today.

    Under the state’s Kofa management plan, a mountain lion that kills more than one bighorn sheep within six months can be lethally removed when the sheep population reaches the lower numbers. Wildlife managers capture mountain lions and attach tracking collars to monitor the cats’ activities and determine when they have killed a sheep.

    It’s not about blame, CBD - it’s about math. If/when the mountain lion population becomes distressed, I’m sure AZGFD will take similar measures to stabilize their numbers. Grow up.

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    One Response to “Environmentalists Stewing About Lion Killing”

    1. - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest! Says:

      [...] may recall my post regarding another lion controversy at Kofa. Game and Fish along with t he Fish and Wildlife Service needs your support regarding the [...]

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