AR-News: (US-WA) Biologist wants longer study of cougars
wolfcrest at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 29 15:05:18 EDT 2004
Biologist wants longer study of cougars
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER NEWS SERVICES
WENATCHEE -- Scientists need one more year of study to accurately estimate
the number of mountain lions in north-central Washington, a state specialist
Managers with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife think the cougar
population is declining, while some north-central Washington residents
insist otherwise. Residents blame a 1996 citizens initiative that bans
hunting mountain lions with hounds.
Last winter, the state paid experienced houndsmen to chase and tree mountain
lions north of the Colville Indian Reservation to gather a skin sample for
DNA analysis. The sample is collected by shooting the cougars with a dart
Rich Beausoleil, state Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, said the
study will continue in the same areas next winter.
"There's a real good chance that next year, we'll have a good population
estimate," he said.
When enough data are gathered, researchers will use a computer program to
estimate the number of mountain lions in the area, Beausoleil said.
The program calculates population by identifying how many of the same cats
keep getting caught.
So many gods, so many creeds,so many paths that wind and wind, while just
the art of being kind is all this sad world needs.
-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1805-1919)
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