Montana seeks comments on mountain lion management strategy

Montana mountain lion management plan

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Montana wants to know what you think about its draft Mountain Lion Management Strategy. You can check out the plan here. The document identifies key mountain lion ecoregions within the state, ways to monitor the animals, harvest regulation and management. The draft strategy is a result of nearly 25 years of in-depth field research conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MT FWP).

In 1971, mountain lions were classified as a game animal by the Montana legislature. The state holds a mountain lion season annually, which runs September through April or until the quota is met.

Distribution of Montana mountain lion harvest, 1988-2015 (unshaded counties have had no harvest)

Distribution of Montana mountain lion harvest

Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

According to the agency, because mountain lions tend to roam far and wide, the strategy includes four defined lion ecoregions and within each ecoregion, a mountain lion population estimate will be determined based upon the integrated population model as well as mountain lion harvest data and ecology. Using this information, “wildlife managers will employ a statistical model to predict the effects of lion harvest on populations.” The strategy is geared towards managing and monitoring lions and outlines how MT FWP plans to do just that.

If you are interested in weighing in on the draft strategy, click here to submit your comments. Comments will be collected until 5 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2019. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will discuss final adoption of the strategy during its February meeting.

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