Despite widespread opposition, Governor Ricketts approved the 2019 hunt of Nebraska's small mountain lion population. Opening a trophy hunting season to a population of around 59 total mountain lions, including kittens, threatens the long-term survival of these native wild cats. The quota amounts to 20% of the known population in the Pine Ridge region and, according to experts, is unsustainable.
We would like to express our sincerest grattitude to everyone that took the time to submit comment letters, attend meetings, or contact the Governor's office. Thank you!
Nebraska's small mountain lion population simply cannot sustain a hunt. With under 60 total mountain lions, a hunt would threaten the wild cat's long-term survival and stability in the state.
Today, NGP reported that a female lion around 10-12 months was killed by a landowner for attacking their chickens. Nebraska's mountain lion population is not large enough to sustain a hunt -- especially if livestock owners are legally allowed to kill a "mountain lion immediately if it is in the process of stalking, killing, or consuming livestock on their property."
We need to TAKE ACTION TODAY! Contact Governor Ricketts and let him know that this hunt is not sustainable, threatens the long-term survival of mountain lions in Nebraska, and will only increase conflicts with people, pets and livestock.
To speak out against this hunt, contact the Governor's office by calling 402-471-2244 or submitting comments through their website at https://governor.nebraska.gov/contact-form.
A total of eight mountain lions, with up to four of those being female, can now be targeted by trophy hunters in the Pine Ridge region. From January 1, 2019 - February 28, 2019, trophy hunters will be permitted to kill mountain lions in Nebraska. If the quota has not been met by February 28, trophy hunters will then be granted the use of hounds to pursue and kill any remaining lions from March 15 - 31, 2019.
The decision to allow trophy hunters to kill mountain lions in an area with only 59 total lions, including kittens, is appalling. Allowing this hunt, despite the best available science, causes concern for long-term survival of mountain lions in Nebraska.
The proposed season will be held from January 1st to February 28th, 2019 with a second season from March 15th to 31st, 2019 if the quota is not met during the Jan/Feb season. Hounds will be permitted during the second season in March.
Hunting will be permitted in the Pine Ridge region which has been split into two sub-units: the Pine Ridge North sub-unit and Pine Ridge South sub-unit. This proposal eliminates hunting in the Prairie Region entirely. Each unit has a quota of four lions with a subquota of two females. In total, trophy hunters will be permitted to kill eight mountain lions, with a female sub-quota of four.
The total population is estimated to be 59 individuals, including kittens. Excluding kittens, there are approximately 40 adults and subadults that will be pursued by hunters. The quota proposed by NGPC would allow 20% of adults and subadults in the Pine Ridge region to be killed. This quota far exceeds what experts believe is sustainable and may lead to an increase in conflicts with humans.
The public hearing for the proposal will be June 22nd at 9am at Midplains Community College Conference Room, 512 East B Street, Ogallala, NE.
Email your comments BEFORE June 21st in order to ensure that they are received by the Commission.
It is critical that you speak up TODAY for Nebraska's mountain lions! See below for more talking points.
Trophy hunting mountain lions damages mountain lions’ social structures and hastens local extinction. Mountain lion populations are self-regulating - limited by access to food, shelter and access to mates - and need not be managed.
With as few as 22 mountain lions in the Pine Ridge region back in 2014, the Commission allowed trophy hunters to kill five lions (and likely orphan a few cubs) during the State's inaugural hunting season. An additional 11 lions were killed the same year by poaching, traps, and road kill, threats which continue to rise today.
A few minutes of your time will make a big difference for Nebraska's lion population.
Please take a moment to reach out to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Please call the Commission and urge them to oppose a mountain lion hunt.
Here's all you have to say:
Hello, My name is (Your Name) and I am a Nebraskan from (City and Zip code). I am calling to urge the Commission to end mountain lion hunting in Nebraska. Nebraska's mountain lion population is not large enough to sustain a sport hunting season and the majority of Nebraskans oppose a hunt. Hunting is not the way to manage mountain lions. Thank you!
Then, use the talking points provided below and your own experience to write your letter. Thank you!
Send your personal letters to:
The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat. The mountain lion is also known as cougar, puma, panther, and catamount.
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.
Together, we can save America's lion.
You can make a tax-deductible donation with your credit card using Paypal's secure server by clicking on one of the links below.
You may also mail your contribution to Mountain Lion Foundation, P.O. Box 1896, Sacramento, California 95812 or call us at 916-442-2666.
Additional options for making a gift are available by clicking HERE.