Next week, legislators will debate whether or not to add mountain lions to the list of animals that can be legally trapped in the state. Newcastle Representative Hans Hunt is one of the bill’s sponsors. He says sportsmen and ranchers complain that mountain lions are hurting mule deer populations.
“The incidence of predator kills on deer populations in certain parts of the state has to be evidence enough that their population is certainly increasing and at a rate that’s cause for concern,” Hunt says.
A researcher studying the social behaviors of mountain lions will present his findings on Thursday, June 18, in the first of a series of summer talks co-sponsored by the University of Wyoming and the National Parks.
Mark Elbroch is a wildlife biologist with Panthera, a conservation group studying big cats and their habitats. He says new technology like GPS collars and remote video cameras have given him unprecedented access to the lives of mountain lions.
For years, no one could figure out why birds of prey were turning up with extremely high levels of lead poisoning. The issue made headlines when the newly reintroduced condor in California began dying off from lead exposure. Craighead Beringia South is a group of wildlife researchers in Kelly, Wyoming who were among the scientists who started studying the problem in other species, back in the early 2000’s.