The killing of a captured cougar by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) on the 4th of July was inexcusable behavior on the part of a state agency tasked with managing Oregon's wildlife for the public trust. But what may be even worse, are the outdated and scientifically disproven excuses Department officials made justifying that action.
Let's consider how this tragic situation came about.
There's plenty of evidence from similar incidents throughout the West that it's fairly common for cougars to accidentally wander into human areas. It usually happens at night. Sometimes the cougar is following a creek . . .
Biologists have long viewed Southern California's crisscrossing system of highways as insurmountable barriers that hinder the natural movement of mountain lions and other wildlife. These unintentional barriers are one of the leading causes of mountain lion deaths in that region of the state due to automobile accidents as well as intraspecies fights over territory within these man-made islands of habitat.
To help rectify the problem, and to reduce wildlife-related automobile accidents, . . .
06/30/14 Guest Commentary by Christopher Spatz, Cougar Rewilding Foundation
Chris Spatz discusses a recent trip to Pacifica, California and how attitudes towards mountain lions differ from his home state of New York where officials are opposed to the species' recovery. Midwestern states with tiny populations of lions continue their intolerance, and most western states needlessly slaughter hundreds of lions each year for recreation. Citizens of California were the first to grant Puma concolor the freedom to teach humans the limits of their habitat, to determine how close mountain lions wish to live near us, to let them be neighbors.
Spend just eight minutes and learn little known facts about the fascinating
mountain lion. Get a glimpse of how a mountain lion thinks, feels, and senses.
What makes the mountain lion so adaptable to a wide variety of habitats?
How does their hunting differ from that of wolves and bears? What is their
relationship to the ecosystem?