Bighorn Sheep or Mountain Lions

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The Sierra Nevadas and Yosemite National Park in California are home to about 400 bighorn sheep. These large animals are one of the most endangered large mammals in the United States. They were placed on the endangered species list in 1999. California also protects mountain lions, which Californians voted to give special protection in 1990. This winter, however, state biologists had to scale back efforts to snare and collar suspected nuisance cougars after a complaint that even those not threatening sheep were being harmed.

Currently state biologists are undergoing a lamb count, and are curious how their scaled back efforts on tracking cougars will affect the bighorn sheep. In the state cougars that have been confirmed of killing bighorn sheep can be killed, however when the biologists snared and collared the cougars, there was public uproar that the biologists were harming cougars that were innocent. This winter new cougar protection was implemented, and it is expected that the bighorn sheep population will be affected by it. From


niceshot_smitty's picture

well consdering that

well consdering that california will protect Mountain lions before there own people, i can see the same for bighorn sheep.  If it was up to me they would have a hunts for lions year round.  they are animal that lives to kill.  if they weren't so in to killing deer or elk bighorns would be gone because of lions. One kill per lion a week.  That at least 52 kills a year and who nows how many lions are in California.  I say just hunt them.  control them. do something.  anything.  Save the BIGHORNS!!!!



arrowflipper's picture


I have learned over the years that nothing Californians do surprises me.  Little they do is based on intellect or reasoning.  But it's their state and I don't have to live there.  Whatever is natural or whatever feels good at the time is OK with Californians.

And when the bighorn population dwindles to nothing, they will blame someone else for the problem.  Why would they ever want to put the blame on themselves? 

I am not opposed to letting cougars kill some sheep as that's nature.  But to let it go unprotected is just stupid.  It sounds to me like the game department is doing the wise thing in monitoring the cats.  The people who are making the noise have little if any information or data to support their stance.  Why does the game department even listen to these people?

I would hope that if a few kids get eaten by cougars that the people of California will be consistent and admit that the lion is only doing what comes naturally and let it go.  Everything should be left to nature..... have you ever noticed a garden that is left to be natural?  What a mess.  California.... what a mess!


cowgal's picture

Hard to believe that

Hard to believe that California residents are opposed to monitoring the mountain lions. It would appear that monitoring them is the only way to protect the bighorns.