The South Dakota Mountain Lion Management Plan for 2010-2015, Version 10-1, August 2010 (Page 18), states -
The following is a list of expected benefits from achieving this population objective
(2010 Population Estimate=223 (+/-25); Population Goal=175 (+/-25):
1. An estimated 50% reduction in the occurrence of problem lions and removals by the Department,
2. An estimated 40% reduction in the number of mountain lion mortalities caused by vehicle collisions.
3. An improvement in the overall health of the mountain lion population and reduction in the occurrence of disease,
4. An estimated reduction in the mortality of 1,650 big game species by mountain lions in the Black Hills, and
5. A continuation of a science-based hunting season to obtain genetic and other population data.
Item 2 is so frivolous as to put doubt on whether or not the real reasons for “slashing” the Black Hills cougar population are stated in the management report. Florida panther advocates take notice–to save the panther from deaths on highways, just shoot them all!
State Farm Insurance ranks South Dakota as eighth in the number of deer-vehicle collision accidents. As of 2007, the chances of a motorist hitting a deer in South Dakota in the next year was 1 in 119. Seems that South Dakotans should welcome some help from cougars in trimming the deer population.
Rapid City News
Motorist reports hitting mountain lion near Keystone
Journal staff Rapid City Journal
A driver reportedly hit a mountain lion late Friday night near Keystone.