Mountain lion quota increased

Mountain Lion quotas for the 2012 season have been increased to 70 lions or 50 females after GF&P commissioners voted on the issue last week. Wildlife division recommendations for the season were 60-40.

Last years quotas were 45 total and 30 females. With an extra 10 lions being able to be killed in Custer State Park.

For 2012 lions killed in Custer state park will go towards the quota.

One of the main factors for increasing the quota was the increased mt. lions population and it’s effect on Black Hills deer and elk herds in recent years. Last year biologists conducted a study that radio collared 30 elk calves in Custer State Park.  Fourteen of the 30 are known to have been killed by lions and another died from an undetermined predator. 

Population models by GFP in 2010 estimate there are 223 lions in the Black Hills.  A figure that is down 10 percent from the year before.  A GFP commissioner said 98 lions were known to have died either through hunting or other causes this year.

GFP officials want mountain lion population to be between 150-200 lions in the hills.

I want your thoughts on the increased quotas.  If GFP population models are correct the new quotas will call to eliminate over 30 percent of the population. Is that too much or too little? Let me know by commenting on the blog.