Sunday, February 24, 2008

People, Cougars, Initiative 655, and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Liza Gross has an interesting article in PLOS Biology about cougars in Washington. While probably containing something for everyone to disagree with, it is recommended reading for residents concerned with this issue. One take away:

Ironically, once the initiative to ban hound hunting passed,“presumably to protect cougars,” Rob Wielgus [Director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Laboratory at Washington State University] says, “it resulted in a big harvest of cougars, a decline in the female component, and the influx of teenage males. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. All my data suggest that we should go back to hound hunting, which is regulatory, density-dependent, and sustainable.”