Currently, CPW experts estimate the total mountain lion population in Colorado to be between 3500 - 4500 individuals. This estimate includes kittens. Approximately 2345 to 3015 of these individuals would be sub-adults or adults and could be targeted by hunters.
Allowing hunters to potentially kill up to 677 mountain lions is unsustainable and could lead to an increase in conflicts with people, pets, and livestock. Trophy hunting mountain lions damages their social structure 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.
Continued overhunting of mountain lions can lead to population decline, instability and decline in overall ecosystem health, increased overgrazing by deer and elk, an increase in conflicts with humans and decreased kitten survival which leads to further population decline. A recent study published by Panthera's researchers suggests that delaying hunting seasons until December 1 will help increase kitten survival in the event that the mother is killed by hunters.
Research has also indicated that hunting no more than 12-14% of a mountain lion population would allow for stability, while decreasing the likelihood of conflicts with humans and domestic animals. Lowering the limit to 10% of the known population would allow for a buffer for other types of human-caused mortality including roadway collisions, incidental trapping or snaring, poaching and retaliatory killings.
Don't wait! Take action today! More mountain lions are being killed today by trophy hunters than when bounties were being issued for the big cats.
It is absolutely that critical that you submit your comments today! In your letter, please remember to be polite, but emphasize that:
Submit your comments electronically by noon on September 3 to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.