The purpose of the draft strategy is to establish guidelines as to how FWP will manage and monitor lion populations. The draft does not lay out any population objectives or hunting recommendations.
Since mountain lions require large, connected landscapes to thrive, FWP intends to implement a new adaptive management approach which includes defining four mountain lion ecoregions. These regions consist of large landscapes of similar quality habitat, within which populations are anticipated to act similarly.
According to the department, "FWP will then develop estimates of mountain lion numbers within these ecoregions using a new but proven genetically based field sampling method. With the population estimates plus lion harvest data and lion ecology, wildlife managers will employ a statistical model to predict the effects of lion harvest on populations."
IMPORTANT: The draft Mountain Lion Management Strategy will be available for review and comment until 5:00 PM MDT on January 11, 2019. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will adopt the final plan at the February 2019 meeting.
To review and comment on the draft strategy, go to the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2018/mtnLionMgmtStrategy.html
It is absolutely that critical that you submit your comments today! In your letter, please remember to be polite, but emphasize that:
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The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat.
We believe that mountain lions are in peril.
Our nation is on the verge of destroying this apex species upon which whole ecosystems depend. Hunting mountain lions is morally unjustified, and killing lions to prevent conflicts is ineffective and dangerous.
There is a critical need to know more about the biology, behavior, and ecology of mountain lions, and governments should base decisions upon truthful science, valid data, and the highest common good. Conserving critical lion habitat is essential.