The State of Nevada announced its plan to kill mountain lions in order to save and increase the deer population in the area.
Mountain Lions are considered predators that prey on the deer population of Nevada. It is believe that the deer population will continue to decline if no remedial measures are taken by the state.
The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners told agency staff last week to employ the help of sport hunters and contract employees from the US Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services for the state wildlife department’s new ‘program of intensive, sustained predator reduction’. Fox News reported.
The state wildlife office said that they would use science to determine the number of mountain lions to be killed.
Ken Meyer, director of Nevada’s wildlife department said: ‘It’s not an effort to exterminate mountain lions’. ‘It’s an effort to better manage lions with the prey base. Some hunters think the solution the deer problem is to kill a lot of lions and the deer will come back’.
The state’s deer population fell from 240,000 in 1998 to 108,000 in 2008 while its current lion population ranges from 1,500 to 2,400, according to wildlife department.
Nevada State’s plan to kill mountain lions to allow the increase of deer populations is being criticized by lion advocates, saying that they are making the lions as scapegoat despite its importance as top-line predator in any ecosystem.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin supports a similar predator control program that allows private citizens with permits to shoot wolves from the air in an effort to reverse the decline of other animals with dwindling population.