Why Is Cougar Hunting Legal

California had the third lowest rate of attacks per capita against people, at 0.4 attacks per million people. Montana had the highest with 7.1 attacks per million people. Many people in California live in urban areas and will never encounter a cougar, so it may also be worth looking at the rate of encounters and perceived threats to humans or livestock. California, the most populous state with the highest number of people recovering in Puma country, reported an average of 200 incidents per year. Washington reported 578 incidents a year and Oregon 328. The introduction of alien species into the world is now recognized by biologists as a major threat to biodiversity. In the past, however, exotic wildlife has been introduced by the state`s wildlife managers to provide new hunting opportunities. In my state, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department maintains huntable populations of several introduced ungulates (oryx, muscovor sheep and ibex) despite their competition with native species and the ecological devastation they cause. Killing a cougar in self-defense or in defense of others should be reasonable and justified. The person taking such action must have reason to believe that the cougar poses a risk of serious bodily harm, that the harm is imminent and that the measure is the only reasonable means available to prevent such harm. Predators can affect the number of ungulates such as deer and moose, but from which enemies? Most of the state`s wildlife managers oppose the reintroduction of superior carnivores that have been exterminated from their borders or, when present, attempt to keep their numbers artificially low to reduce competition for wildlife with human hunters.

Thus, in essence, past and current management policies, motivated by antipathy towards carnivores and the desire to improve hunting success, have created a “problem” – the lack of predators – for which hunting is proposed as the only “solution”. While it was true that hunters contribute more financially to the agency`s budgets than non-hunters, it is worth asking whether this means they deserve to have a greater voice in wildlife decisions. Is it fair that a small group of users – hunters – monopolize wildlife management simply because a system has developed whereby their spending, opaque (excise taxes) and involuntary (royalties) as it is, ends up supporting wildlife protection agencies more than the non-hunting public? Another user group — wildlife watchers — outnumber hunters, according to a 2016 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Another “user group” is even bigger: all of us, because we all “use” wildlife to keep ecosystems healthy and benefit from the results. Why should these groups be relegated to minority status or excluded altogether when it comes to deciding how wildlife is managed? He compared it to other forms of agriculture where various factors had to be controlled to increase yield, which, in the case of wildlife, included things like regulating hunting and killing predators. This approach has successfully saved some wildlife species from extinction. California specifically prohibits mountain lion hunting under the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990 (Proposition 117). He legally classified the mountain lion as a “specially protected mammal.” Other states do not have mountain lions. Here are the states where it is illegal to hunt mountain lions or where mountain lions no longer exist: The program has safeguards to ensure cougars are not killed senselessly, DeBloois explained in a recent video. The steps of this transformation are clear. It starts with new marching orders.

State legislatures must give their wildlife authorities the mandate and legal authority to protect all species, including invertebrates, that are essential to the functioning of the ecosystem. Many states do not currently have this full power. In New Mexico, for example, the Department of Game and Fish has only been given legal authority over about 60 percent of the state`s vertebrates, even though the state is home to more species of birds, reptiles, and mammals than almost anywhere else in the United States. A full discussion of the North American model is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that it has quickly become a sacred doctrine in wildlife management circles, widely touted as the leading model of wildlife conservation in the world. The problem is that it is both an incomplete account of history, downplaying the contributions of non-hunters, and an inadequate set of guidelines for the conservation of species and ecosystems in the face of the current mass extinction crisis. Nevertheless, its undisputed acceptance of wildlife management in the community has helped fuel the narrative that hunting is essential to conservation.

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