Black Hills Mtn Lion Population Stable

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Studies conducted by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department indicate that the overall mountain lion population in the Black Hills has held steady over the past year.

The 2009 population estimate for the Black Hills is 250, plus or minus 30 lions. Those are the same numbers that were found in 2008.

"We use a variety of methods and information to obtain the Black Hills population estimate," Tom Kirschenmann, GFP Terrestrial Services Chief said. "We know as much or more about this particular mountain lion population than any population in the country thanks to our continued studies in conjunction with South Dakota State University."

Kirschenmann said that the population estimate is derived from evaluating harvest information from the hunting season, radio telemetry data, and biological parameters such as home range and reproductive data.

GFP staff will present mountain lion information to the GFP Commission at their May 6-7 meeting at Custer State Park. The Commission will be proposing the 2010 mountain lion season at this meeting.