Gov't shooting more rare desert pumas on national wildlife refuge. One female killed recently and another may die today.
“Mountain lions, or cougars, are dedicated mothers, and are either pregnant or raising dependent cubs for the majority (76%) of their lives.” (The Cougar Fund)
UPDATE, Mon. May 9: AZGFD and USFWS used a GPS collar to track and kill female lion KF02 on Tue. May 3.
YUMA AZ -- Updated imperiled Kofa collared lion status: Arizona Game and Fish Dept. and US Fish & Wildlife Service government officials killed the first-ever Kofa collared female lion designated as KF01 (= Kofa Female 01) day before yesterday—Saturday April 3, about a mile from High Tank 3, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.
A second female, KF02 , is scheduled for death as an “offending lion” because she has killed two desert bighorn. Therefore, the agencies will have killed two female pumas, back-to-back, in the span of a week, if they can locate KF02 this week (very easy to accomplish with satellite and handheld VHF telemetry). KF01 was definitely sexually mature at an estimated 3-4 years-old and KF02 is possibly sexually mature at 1-2 years-old (Female cougars reach sexual maturity at 1.5 to 3 years old).
AZGFD most frequently kills offending lions during weekend days. KF02 may not survive the weekend.
The government had tried for 4 years to trap queen lions and now that they are finally successful, they have the potential to cause substantive harm to the Kofa cougar population by killing two potentially reproductive females in the span of a week or so.
If the government is now able to trap queen lions consistently, then it will not take long for them to extirpate that critical reproductive segment and greatly lessen the chance that Kofa will have a stable lion population, which must be part of the refuge’s biodiversity.
Some background and history on this issue.