Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR)'s biologists, have proposed an increase in the number of permits that are available to hunters. They have recommended increasing the number of permits from 581 to 653 for the 2018-2019 hunting season. While the UDWR believes that it is unlikely that the quota will even be met, the increase sets an unsustainable precedence for years to come.
As of 2017, UDWR's biologists estimated that there were between 1900 - 4000 mountain lions in Utah. During the 2017-2018 hunt, trophy hunters were reported to have killed 456 lions. According to the UDWR, in the past three years, hunters have killed a total of 1234 mountain lions: 859 males and 374 females.
The decision to increase the 2018-19 quota does not align with current research that shows that hunting mountain lion is unnecessary and that it leads to an increase in conflict with people and domestic animals. Additionally, recent studies have shown that a significant percentage of Utahns do not support trophy hunting of the state's wild cats.
Overhunting of mountain lions can lead to population decline, instability and decline in overall ecosystem health, increased overgrazing by herbivores like deer and elk, an increase in conflicts with humans and decreased kitten survival which leads to further population decline.
There will be a series of meetings in July and August throughout Utah that you can attend to voice your opinion about the proposed increase. Once the meetings have concluded, the Regional Advisory Council (RAC) will then report to the Utah Wildlife Board and share the input that they have gathered from the public.