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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

25 of 41 Pumas killed in South Dakota hunt were females--61%!!!........The Nimrods who run this state's Dept. of of Wildlife are completely out of control as they have done everything over the past 5 years to continue to put the most eastern breeding colony of "Lions"(except for the isolated Florida population) on a downward population trajectory toward what many biologists feel is an "extirpation paradigm"..................In 2010, South Dakota was on record saying 251 Pumas were in the Black Hills...........The esteemed Mountain Lion Foundation feels that the science actually suggested no more than 150 Cats existed in 2010,,,,,,,,,,After 5 years of killing, still 200-250 Pumas alive in the Black Hills as South Dakota claims?


Black Hills season ends with 41 mountain lions killed

  • By Associated Press
  • Updated 
  •  0

A  report from the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks shows 25 of the lions killed during the season that ended Thursday were females, including one killed Thursday, the last of the season. 




1996 - SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
Vehicular Trauma82
Illegal Killing8
Intraspecific Strife / Infanticide40
Sick or Emaciated26
Depredation Removal104
Preventive Removal25
Accidental Trapping20
Miscellaneous Causes4
Unknown Causes42

History of Mountain Lion Management in South Dakota

From 1889 to 1966, a bounty was placed on mountain lions by the South Dakota legislature. Despite an assumed abundance of the species, mountain lions were effectively extirpated from the state by 1906 with only two reported lion deaths (1931 & 1959) occurring over the next sixty years. Concurrent bounty programs and unregulated hunting practices in surrounding states suppressed the entire region's mountain lion population and prevented recolonization of the species in South Dakota until the early 1970s.
By 1978 people began to recognize the existence of a small breeding population in the Black Hills and the support for that assumption was sufficient for mountain lions to be classified as a State Threatened Species.

South Dakota Mountain Lion Population Estimates

It is believed that the last mountain lion was extirpated in South Dakota in 1906. Over the next sixty-plus years, a few transient mountain lions originating in Wyoming would wander into the state, but this must have been a fairly rare occurrence because despite a bounty placed on every mountain lion killed in South Dakota there are no reports of a lion being killed until 1931, with the next not occurring until 1959.
In 1997, based on unverified anecdotal information, SDGF&P estimated that somewhere between 40 to 50 mountain lions resided in the Black Hills with an additional 15-25 on the western South Dakota prairie. Six years later the Department claimed that the results of a five-year research project indicated a population estimate of 127-149 lions (an almost 300 percent increase) within the Black Hills ecosystem alone.
In SDGF&P's 2010 Mountain Lion Management Plan, the Department now estimates that 251 mountain lions (138 adults and 113 kittens) reside in the Black Hills region of the state. While MLF has no direct knowledge regarding how many mountain lions there really are, we have difficulty accepting this "official" count, especially since it is being used to justify a drastic increase in the upcoming mountain lion hunting quotas. MLF's review of the management plan found incorrect numbers, flawed mathematical equations, a series of bad scientific practices and assumptions, and a complete disregard of the basic biological and behavioral qualities of the species.
As of June 2010, MLF's best estimate of South Dakota's mountain lion population would place it closer to the number range espoused by the Department back in 2003 with a total--both adult as well as kittens--not exceeding 149 lions.

Ignoring Facts

The South Dakota Game Commission is possibly one of the most egregious examples of how lion hunting quotas have nothing to do with scientific facts.
South Dakota extirpated their indigenous lion population back in 1906. For almost a hundred years the slow process of recolonization took place and by 1997 it was estimated that there might have been as many as 50 lions residing in the Black Hills region of the state. Despite MLF's best efforts, less than ten years later the South Dakota Department of Game Fish & Parks (SDGFP) instituted its first lion hunting season. That first hunt had a quota of 25 lions or 5 females--whichever came first.
Click here to read MLF's Comment Letter to the SDGFP Commission.
Ignoring pleas from MLF as well as from many other noted lion experts, SDGFP has proposed increasing the annual lion hunting quota almost every year since. At first the increases were explained as a need to reduce the lion population, but lately the focus has shifted to satisfying the desires of the state Game Commission. For three years running (2009-2011), SDGFP officials assumed that the commission would want an increase over the previous year's quota and thereby proposed one. And each year, the Commission took the Department's new quota and raised it even further.
The Commissioners excused their actions by continually challenging the agency's lion population estimate, or by finding "testimony from hunters and landowners too compelling to ignore." Whatever the real reason, the Commission kept increasing the lion hunting quota until this year's proposed season reached 70 lions or 50 females. Before it ended in March, 73 lions died.
The Commission's newest quota of 100 lions or 70 females for the 2013 season has been justified by SDGFP's biologists on the premise that they miscalculated earlier lion population projections, and now believe that instead of 200, South Dakota has 303 lions: 45 adult males, 87 adult females, 33 sub-adult males, 35 sub-adult females and 103 kittens. No indication has been made by either SDGFP or the Commission on the obvious ramifications waiting the soon to be plethora of orphaned kittens if 70 of the state's remaining female lions are killed as proposed.

In SDGF&P's 2010 Mountain Lion Management Plan, the State estimated that 251 mountain lions resided in the Black Hills. MLF's review found incorrect numbers, flawed mathematical equations, a series of bad scientific practices and assumptions, and a complete disregard of the basic biological and behavioral qualities of the species. As of June 2010, our best estimate of South Dakota's mountain lion population was a total not exceeding 149 lions. Due to ever increasing hunting quotas it is doubtfull that even that many lions still remain.

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