Friday, April 18, 2008

Gov't suspends lion killings around Arizona refuge

Kofa lion 'KM03' before he was tracked using a GPS collar and killed by the State of Arizona on March 29

PEER news release, 4/21; Yuma Sun article; Invisible Voices

UPDATE, 4/19: AP story in the San Diego Union-Tribune; also New York Times.

YUMA AZ -- Some good environmental news breaking this afternoon.

Responding to concerns of conservationists, including me on behalf of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Arizona Game & Fish Dept. today announced a moratorium on killing rare pumas (aka mountain lion or cougar) in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge region of the Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona.

FWS will soon start an overdue public process on a mountain lion plan for the Kofa NWR. Contact Mitch Ellis at mitch_ellis(at)fws(dot)gov to get on the mailing list and comment.

This is good break for the pumas, and a smart move by the agencies.

But the bureaucrats continue to mislead by pushing 2006 bighorn population numbers, preferring not to call attention to their own more recent 2007 data which shows bighorn populations increasing significantly on the Kofa from 392 to 460 animals.

We should all be glad bighorn populations are going up on the Kofa, and the government should be honest about it.

1 comment:

Pat said...

Thanks, Daniel, for keeping the pressure on those Arizona Game & Fish officials who have placed the wants of the big game hunting community ahead of ethics or rationale thinking. To claim lion predation is a major cause of sheep demise in the midst of a long drought which has stressed all the animal and plant species is absurd. To radio collar lions inside the refuge in order to track and kill them outside the national refuge runs counter to the ethical standards all of us--including hunters--claim to share. Now let's ensure that the Fish & Wildlife impact study is well done!