UPDATES: Yuma Sun article, May 31.
AZGFD killed another GPS-collared Lion RM01 (Regional, Male, #01) northwest of Gila Bend on April 20. The state did not notify the public until 14 days after the kill on May 4 in a Kofa website update, the first update since June 29, 2009 or over 10 months ago.
YUMA AZ -- The US Fish & Wildlife Service, an agency in embattled Sec. Ken Salazar's Interior Dept., has issued a very bad decision today to continue kill more rare desert lions so the State of Arizona can manage the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge as a bighorn sheep game farm.
Today's decision by the Obama administration continues Bush administration anti-wildlife policy.
Out-of-touch FWS refuge manager Susanna Henry has a conflict-of-interest with the Arizona Game & Fish Department and should be investigated and possibly removed. Her bosses, FWS Southwest Regional Director Ben Tuggle in Albuquerque and Kofa Complex Manager Mitch Ellis in Yuma also are to blame for this on-going debacle.
Southwestern conservationists are very angry and disappointed with the fed's final unsupportable decision, which ensures the conflict will only get worse and likely force litigation. And I'm not a vegan animal-rights activist, I'm an Arizona big game hunter.
I love desert bighorn and I've worked as an ecologist for nearly 20 years to protect and recover bighorn, but America's National Wildlife Refuges are supposed to be managed to conserve all native species, not to unethically kill carnivores in a failed attempt to 'grow' more bighorn primarily to serve rich trophy hunters.
More on the history of this issue and the troubled Kofa refuge and likely more coverage here later.