Mountain lion at the El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
For millennia mountain lions have lived like phantoms inhabiting forbidding terrain across North and South America. To the surprise of most people these amazing apex predators receive no protection in Texas outside of protected areas like National and State Parks. They can be hunted and killed on private lands any day of the year.
Texans for Mountain Lions hopes to help protect lions by asking Texas Parks and Wildlife to help conserve mountain lions by creating a mountain lion management plan.
The new coalition encourages people to help by contacting their elected officials. A sample letter on their website is as follows.
Mountain lions in Texas are a nongame species that can be trapped and hunted year-round without any harvest limits, hunting seasons, or any requirement to report harvest. Mountain lions are included as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Texas and ranked between Imperiled and Vulnerable.
TPWD can and should make changes to conserve mountain lions, to the benefit of both Texans and Texas ecosystems. It’s time for TPWD to manage mountain lions in Texas and this can be done while respecting the ranching and hunting heritage that is the foundation for wildlife conservation in our great state.
Please support the following policies and actions for mountain lion management in Texas: (1) Conduct research to identify the size, status, and distribution of mountain lions in Texas. (2) Require harvest reporting. (3)Require 36-hour trap check times, consistent with furbearer trapping regulations. (4) Ban canned hunting of mountain lions (i.e., killing lions that have been restricted from movement through capture or injury) (5) Manage by region and establish reasonable quotas in areas if the conducted research indicates mountain lions are in decline or imperiled. (6) Require TPWD to form a stakeholder advisory group that will collaborate with TPWD to establish a management plan with regional regulations for the hunting and trapping of mountain lions in Texas.
Top – Rick LoBello
Bottom – Lil Rose, Wikimedia Creative Commons