An Idaho man, writing in the Coeur d’Alene Press, has shed light on the challenges female cougars face not just in Idaho, but across the western United States where lions are hunted. Cougars can reproduce at any time of year, and females are pregnant or caring for dependent young for nearly 75% of their lives. These two unique life history traits that have helped cougars evolve into the North America’s widest ranging predator also threaten it’s long-term survival.
Cougar hunting seasons often span eight to ten months of the year, with some running all year long. As a result, females with kittens are being hunted and killed. Kittens are then orphaned and either starve, succumb to the elements, or come into conflict with humans as they attempt to eek out a sub-optimal living.
This opinion article hits on all the key points, and highlights exactly what we are working to change.