Claim it would 'slaughter' 40 percent of population
Conservation groups believe
By KTVZ.com news sources
A coalition of nine conservation organizations, representing over 200,000
The Oregon Cougar Management Plan is designed to kill up to 40 percent of
The plan, which the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission approved last month, is based on an assumption that
They said biologists and cougar experts maintain the plan is based on an outdated and flawed population model. The current population estimate of a little over 5,000 cougars is extrapolated from a 45-year-old population estimate, they said.
Peer reviewers of the plan criticized the poor population modeling and a reliance on public
Wildlife biologists explain that public complaints are not correlated with trends in cougar populations, or even with the presence of cougars, but instead are related to a number of other factors including an increase in human population, human encroachment into wildlife habitat, and the effects of media coverage.
up to 95 percent of all cougar sightings and complaints are due to the misidentification of wildlife species and pets.
"Indiscriminately reducing the population is a biologically reckless and scientifically flawed approach for reducing conflicts, yet this is the sole focus of the plan," said Sally Mackler, wildlife coordinator for the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.
She said experts agree that the most reliable and effective method of minimizing conflict is through education, yet this plan includes no recommendation for public education.
Conservationists say the
"Using packs of dogs, traps, snares and poisons, agents will indiscriminately kill large numbers of cougars, which is clearly a direct attack on the will of
The HSUS, Sierra Club and the Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association were among groups signing the letter to the governor. Others include the Oregon Humane Society, Cascadia Wildlands Project,
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Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
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