AR-News: (US-WA) Biologist wants longer study of cougars

jim robertson 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 
said.

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 
gun.

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.


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/179968_mtlions29.html


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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