SOUTH DAKOTA 2013 HUNTING PLANS MAY DECIMATE STATE’S ONLY FRAGILE COLONY OF MOUNTAIN LIONS
Agency refuses to use public or peer-reviewed science to sustain mountain lion (also known as cougar, puma, panther) population.
South Dakota’s Game, Fish & Parks Commission has proposed a mountain lion hunting season for the winter of 2012-2013 (2013 Season and Quota) that will kill between 70 and 100 lions in the Black Hills alone.
The entire South Dakota lion population may already be lower than that.
In the remainder of the state, where habitat is unfavorable to lions, lion hunting is unlimited.
The proposed slaughter of 70 to 100 mountain lions will be in addition to the more than 40 lions that are killed annually in the state by ranchers, on roads and highways, and to protect public safety. This means that a total of 110 to 140 mountain lions are likely to be killed in the coming year.
The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks wildlife staff has issued a new “estimate” of the number of mountain lions living in the Black Hills region, raising the population to 300 on paper. This is 100 more lions than the agency’s own January 2012 estimate of a lion population (excluding kittens) of between 200 (mark-recapture method) and 211 (survival and harvest model), despite two years of lion mortality rates of close to 100 lions a year a year.