Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Black Hills cougar population threatened

Update, 20 March, 1732 MDT: a collared cougar from the Black Hills died during an act of gun violence in the Crazy Mountains near Big Timber, Montana according to Erin Madison in the Great Falls Tribune:
While this mountain lion’s story is very interesting, it’s certainly not the first mountain lion with South Dakota roots to show up in Montana, said Justin Gude, wildlife research and technical services chief for FWP in Helena.
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Officials for the GOP-owned wildlife-killing agency in South Dakota told a Sioux Falls teevee station that the Black Hills cougar population has nearly been extirpated:
With only two weeks left in the season, only 49 lions have been killed, including 29 females. The season limit is 100 total lions or 70 females. No lion has been killed for nearly two weeks. The last one killed was on March 6 in Pennington County.
Apex predators are essential to healthy bioregions but at least one stupid white guy in the Black Hills eats cougar meat:
Yet "eating carnivores is mostly not a good idea," argued Luke Hunter, president of Panthera, a U.S. based wild-cat conservation group that works with National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative. Handling wild-carnivore carcasses can also be dangerous, Hunter said. Since the predators end up eating so many different animals, they accumulate parasites and diseases. In 2007, for instance, a biologist in Arizona contracted primary pneumatic plague after dissecting a cougar carcass and died shortly after.--Christine Dell'Amore, National Geographic News
Assassinations of cougars by the law enforcement industry are not counted as part of the "harvest." KW reported in the Rapid City Journal:
Jack Alexander, a state Game, Fish & Parks Department lion-removal expert who handles a pack of state-owned hounds, was called in to shoot the lion Tuesday night when it returned to feed on a deer it had killed a day earlier in a neighborhood above Canyon Lake.
Rewild the West.

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