STATES CHRONICLE – Wildlife commissioners from Colorado decided to carry on with the development of the predator control experiment. This test is meant to kill many black bears and mountain lions which wander around in two different areas of the state. The primary purpose of this hunting experiment is to preserve the population of mule deer which is currently declining.
Based on data gathered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, mule deer constitute a significant wildlife animal to Colorado due to several reasons among which economic benefits like wildlife viewing and hunting were mentioned. On December 14, the wildlife commission of Colorado has voted unanimously to proceed with their plan of starting the predator control experiment in the Piceance Basin, Colorado.
This particular area together with the upper Arkansas River Valley represents the habitat of the largest herd of mule deer in the state. The Commission proposed to focus on euthanizing black bears and mountain lions which populate these two areas. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, specialists believe that hunting young fawns in the Piceance Basin during spring represents the limiting factor.
Researchers are analyzing the situation to establish if reducing the predators’ numbers will result in a prosperous population of mule deer. Lauren Truitt, the public information and website manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, argued that based on their studies, predation represents one of the most significant factors connected to the survival rates of the young fawns.
Based on Truitt’s sayings, the population of mule deer in Colorado is currently lower than 450,000. The primary purpose of wildlife officials is to determine that number to increase at least up until 560,000. Researchers are very trustful, arguing that this goal may be fulfilled with the help of predator management.
Nevertheless, many wildlife conservation groups had expressed their disapproval when the predator control experiment came up. Haley Stewart, who is a wildlife protection manager with the Humane Society of the United States, stated that this controversial research implies the euthanizing of many carnivores over the next years. That means that two other species, black bears, and mountain lions, might decrease in population and they will probably reach on the verge of extinction.
Based on Stewart’s information, the diminishing number of mule deer is not due to predators, but it represents a result of the limited food sources, loss of habitat and even the development of buildings in those two particular areas.
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