HELENA - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking public comment on a draft Montana Mountain Lion Management Strategy.
Over the last 25 years, FWP has made significant investments in field research that helps inform mountain lion management. Because lion populations function in big landscapes, a new management approach includes defining four lion ecoregions, large landscapes of similar habitat within which populations perform similarly.
FWP will then develop estimates of mountain lion numbers within these ecoregions using a new but proven genetically based field sampling method. With the population estimates plus lion harvest data and lion ecology, wildlife managers will employ a statistical model to predict the effects of lion harvest on populations.
The draft strategy available for review and comment does not lay out any population objectives or harvest recommendations. It only speaks to guidelines as to how FWP will manage and monitor lions. To review and comment on the draft strategy go to the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2018/mtnLionMgmtStrategy.html
Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m., Jan. 11, 2019, with final adoption at the February 2019 Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.