3.2 BACKGROUND: HOW MANY SPECIES ARE THERE?
Figure 9.1 Northern spotted owl.
Prohunting argument. Experts have reported that decreasing mountain lion populations result in decreased depredation. Reported livestock depredation incidents have increased since the hunting moratorium started in 1971, and mountain lions are the major cause of depredation losses. Sport hunting decreases mountain lion populations and thus would decrease depredation, and the revenues received from the sale of hunting permits could supply funds to compensate for depredation losses. This would also decrease the likelihood of attacks on humans.
9.2.2 Life History and Ecology of the Spotted Owl
Anti-hunting argument. Studies have shown that mountain lion populations are not capable of depressing deer populations. The North Kings area (see above) suffered from extensive loss of habitat during the years of the hunting moratorium, and loss of habitat is recognized as a major cause of declining deer populations. Also California deer populations decreased most during the years that there were bounties on mountain lions, which suggests that something else besides the mountain lion is affecting deer numbers.