Friday, April 07, 2006

Don't shoot, it might be Charlie

We know who's king of the jungle, but who's king of the mountainous desert? Depends.

Environmentalists are protesting plans to kill 10 or more mountain lions on the Arizona side of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area to prevent them from preying on desert bighorn sheep, according to the Associated Press.

The plan calls for catching and killing mountain lions until a recent spate of sheep kills is reduced, said Jim deVos, research branch chief for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

“Not every lion is killing sheep,” said deVos, who said a start date had not been set for the program. “We’re trying to focus on known kills and trying to remove that lion that is killing sheep.”

Daniel Patterson, desert ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Ariz., called the culling plan a mistake. “Lions are scarce. ... We don’t need single-species management, we need ecosystem management.”

At least seven bighorn have been killed by mountain lions this year in an area near Hoover Dam where deVos said about 1,000 bighorn sheep remain. The area sheep population serves as a source for the reintroduction of bighorn sheep throughout the region, including Colorado, Utah and Texas.

Who's Charlie? Check out the DVD and you'll see.


Anonymous said...

Is any organization planning to go to Lake Mead to protest the lion kill ?

Dena Rosenberry said...

We haven't seen any notices yet, but will add a post to the blog if we get word.

If you hear about this - or other outdoors-related news - add a comment to the blog or send an e-mail to Deb or Dave.

Dena Rosenberry said...

No news to report on the Lake Mead cougars, but Oregon wildlife officials are going to hunt cougars, the AP says.

Officals say there are about 5,100 living in the state and they want to keep the number at about 3,000. There's no plan to slaughter 2,000 cats, but to watch for threats of lifestock or people and "cull."