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Author Topic: Cougar Research from Alberta  (Read 2133 times)

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Cougar Research from Alberta
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2018, 05:11:41 AM »
For example, people have studied Wolf-Moose population over time.

If you are curious, here's a good intro: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/ecology/community-ecosystem-ecology/v/predator-prey-cycle

You forgot one major issue with your beliefs. The population was down prior to wolves being in these areas. When you introduce the highest predator into the equation that results in a significant decrease in the game animals where they cannot recover from.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 11:47:58 AM by Skyvalhunter »

Offline time2hunt

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Re: Cougar Research from Alberta
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2018, 08:45:21 AM »
Anyone able to pull this link up or find the article again ?


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Offline RB

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Re: Cougar Research from Alberta
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2018, 10:02:15 AM »
Anyone able to pull this link up or find the article again ?


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Look at the link Humptulips posted earlier in this thread
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Offline bearpaw

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Re: Cougar Research from Alberta
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2018, 11:40:21 AM »
I couldn't read the article as it led to a nonexistent page.

But, predator-to-prey ratio goes in cycles. Once the deer population decline there won't enough food for all the cougars to survive, and the cougars decline and the deer population rebound.  Same thing with Snowshoe Hares, it goes in a 8-11 year cycle.  It's just that humans have a bias against cougars and bias for deers, for obvious reasons.

You seem to infer certain prejudices that you assume regarding hunters. Cougar are one of my favorite animals to hunt or just to know they are out there. But we need to manage their numbers so that they don't negatively impact other wildlife numbers and livestock owners. With proper management all wildlife can coexist together without heavily impacting other wildlife. :twocents:

I realize that Mr Lai referred to this thought in later posts, but I need to comment... This is the mindset that has led WDFW to remove the human element from wildlife management. Like we're not here, and like we're not supposed to play a role. Completely upside down thinking. Humans have a right, and more importantly a responsibility to actively regulate the swings of predator/prey cycles. And it can be done... easily... but we (hunters) have to be written into the management of species. It's simple, but something that doesn't penetrate the ears of politically biased upper managers.
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Cougar Research from Alberta
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2018, 12:20:17 PM »
I couldn't read the article as it led to a nonexistent page.

But, predator-to-prey ratio goes in cycles. Once the deer population decline there won't enough food for all the cougars to survive, and the cougars decline and the deer population rebound.  Same thing with Snowshoe Hares, it goes in a 8-11 year cycle.  It's just that humans have a bias against cougars and bias for deers, for obvious reasons.

You seem to infer certain prejudices that you assume regarding hunters. Cougar are one of my favorite animals to hunt or just to know they are out there. But we need to manage their numbers so that they don't negatively impact other wildlife numbers and livestock owners. With proper management all wildlife can coexist together without heavily impacting other wildlife. :twocents:

I realize that Mr Lai referred to this thought in later posts, but I need to comment... This is the mindset that has led WDFW to remove the human element from wildlife management. Like we're not here, and like we're not supposed to play a role. Completely upside down thinking. Humans have a right, and more importantly a responsibility to actively regulate the swings of predator/prey cycles. And it can be done... easily... but we (hunters) have to be written into the management of species. It's simple, but something that doesn't penetrate the ears of politically biased upper managers.


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Offline bearpaw

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Re: Cougar Research from Alberta
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2018, 12:23:51 PM »
I couldn't read the article as it led to a nonexistent page.

But, predator-to-prey ratio goes in cycles. Once the deer population decline there won't enough food for all the cougars to survive, and the cougars decline and the deer population rebound.  Same thing with Snowshoe Hares, it goes in a 8-11 year cycle.  It's just that humans have a bias against cougars and bias for deers, for obvious reasons.

You seem to infer certain prejudices that you assume regarding hunters. Cougar are one of my favorite animals to hunt or just to know they are out there. But we need to manage their numbers so that they don't negatively impact other wildlife numbers and livestock owners. With proper management all wildlife can coexist together without heavily impacting other wildlife. :twocents:

I realize that Mr Lai referred to this thought in later posts, but I need to comment... This is the mindset that has led WDFW to remove the human element from wildlife management. Like we're not here, and like we're not supposed to play a role. Completely upside down thinking. Humans have a right, and more importantly a responsibility to actively regulate the swings of predator/prey cycles. And it can be done... easily... but we (hunters) have to be written into the management of species. It's simple, but something that doesn't penetrate the ears of politically biased upper managers.


 :yeah:

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Offline mfswallace

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Re: Cougar Research from Alberta
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2018, 02:28:28 PM »
http://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/01/07/cougar-hunt-in-alberta-sparks-debate-among-scientists-hunters-and-activists/


Hunters have been killing cougars in Alberta for decades.

They often follow prints in the snow or use dogs to track the big cats before they are shot with guns or bows.

Last month, outdoor television host Steve Ecklund’s cougar hunt led to online threats and criticisms — including a penis comment from Laureen Harper, wife of former prime minister Stephen Harper — after he bragged about it on social media.

Similar outrage followed the killing of No. 148, a well-known Banff grizzly bear, by a hunter in British Columbia last summer.

Both kills were legal.

Scientists say a cultural divide still exists — even within their own community — about hunting large carnivores.

“It’s seeing a much greater value on an individual animal rather than a population, but the system is set up for us to manage populations, not individuals,” said Adam Ford, an assistant professor of biology at University of British Columbia Okanagan.

“You see this come up when the individual-focus conservation people see a dead cougar and call people out for having a small penis.

“The way hunting has been designed for a long time is to not have an impact on the population.”

Alberta has regulated its cougar population since 1969. An annual quota allows up to 155 animals to be hunted each year.

The province estimates there are 2,000 to 3,500 cougars.

Both the government’s top carnivore expert and University of Alberta biologist Mark Boyce have said it’s a sustainable population that must be managed because cougars can prey on cattle or become a public safety risk.

Similar debates have taken place around grizzly bears. The hunt in B.C. was banned last month after surveys showed it wasn’t supported by most residents.

Although people are concerned about “beautiful cuddly carnivores” being shot, Ford said he worries scientists have been weighing in on the ethical debate over hunting.

“My morals are different than yours, but facts should be facts,” he said, noting he’s working on a paper looking at the growing divide between scientists on issues such as hunting.

Hunters have defended the hunt as a tradition.

“As outdoor enthusiasts, we look for opportunities to get into the outdoors,” said Wayne Lowry, a hunter and past president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association. “The cougar season offers a very late-season hunting opportunity.”

Lowry, who killed a cougar near Crowsnest Pass about 15 years ago, said it’s unlike any hunt he’s experienced.

“It took me two years,” he said. “For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event.

He still has the mounted cat in his home.

“It was a great experience … You see the dogs get excited and you get excited as well.”

Lowry admitted there’s a lot of controversy about hunting.

“The debate is the same regardless of who it is, where it happens and what the species is. You have people who don’t like it and people who do.”

One scientist said the outrage is not generally with hunting, but an ethical debate over killing large carnivores that can suffer. Chris Darimont, associate professor of geography at the University of Victoria, said hunting for sport makes people uncomfortable.

“They cannot accept the idea that people kill carnivores not to feed their families, but to feed their egos,” said Darimont, who is opposed to killing animals other than for food or protection.

Ecklund said in a social media post that he made a stir-fry from the cougar, although eating the meat isn’t required by law.

Darimont, who hunts one elk or deer a year for food, said it’s a “thin veil of deception” for hunters to say they’re eating the animals, because predator meat isn’t very tasty.

“Wildlife managers for decades have acknowledged that these (animals) are not killed for their meat, but for their trophy items.”

The cougar hunt in Alberta should be re-evaluated, Darimont suggested. Science shows there are risks in overharvesting, because it’s tough to count carnivores and get a clear picture of the population, he said.

“There’s lots of uncertainty. Managers can and do make mistakes, and then we are just starting to learn of the evolutionary and social costs of killing large carnivores.”

The Alberta government says it hasn’t received any calls to end the hunt since the cougar controversy hit.

The province did ban the grizzly bear hunt in 2006 due to concerns about a dwindling population — although recent increases in some areas have led to calls to allow it to return in Alberta.
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