GPS collar a death sentence, not research.
OTHER COVERAGE, Sep 2: Arizona Daily Star, Yuma Sun.
YUMA AZ -- Desert puma 'KM04' has been tracked, shot and killed near the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge by the Arizona Game & Fish Dept.
The ethical problems continue at troubled agency Arizona Game & Fish. The good old boys at Game & Fish have an outdated anti-carnivore bias and continue to insist a National Wildlife Refuge be run as a state bighorn game farm. The bighorn herd at Kofa is increasing when last checked, but due to state-sponored killings, the small and rare low desert puma population on and around the Kofa is far more imperiled right now than the bighorn herd.
The state has spent at least nearly $13,000 recently on killing lions around Kofa and elsewhere. This figure does not include costs for trapping, collaring and monitoring, which are substantial, so AGFD has likely spent far more.
It is simply immoral for the state to trap and collar predators in the name of research and then later repeatedly use the GPS collars to track and kill the animals. Game & Fish's collars are a death sentence for too many important carnivores and the US Fish and Wildlife Service should block the state from collaring any more Kofa pumas.
I am an Arizona hunter who formerly worked with BLM and has worked for over 15 years to protect and recover bighorn populations across the southwest. I am also considering legislation in 2010 to require more checks and balances and scientific oversight of Arizona Game & Fish.
More on the troubling history of this issue.