Help Save Missouri's  Mountain Lions

 This is our petition to save Missouri's Mountain Lions. 30 years ago the state of Mo. removed the mountain lion from the endangered species list because there were no sightings reported. There were no sightings of these beautiful creatures because it had been reported they had been all killed during the 1800s-1900s. Now the mountain lion is making a come back from extinction. There have been 7 confirmed sightings including a mother mountain lion and her cub. http://www.memphisdemocrat.com/2006/news/061228_lion.shtml . http://www.mdc.mo.gov/nathis/mammals/mlion/sightings.htm Help us protect them so we can tell Governor Blunt we want them back.
Missouri Conservation does not want to welcome back the big cat and removed them off the endangered species list.

Tammy,
The mountain lion (Puma concolor), also known as cougar, puma, panther,
painter, and catamount, until recently was state-listed as
â%u20AC%u0153endangeredâ%u20AC in Missouri.  The Conservation Commission first
designated the mountain lion as â%u20AC%u0153endangeredâ%u20AC in 1973, due to the
mistaken belief at that time that a small population â%u20AC%u0153may have become
tenuously re-establishedâ%u20AC in parts of the Ozarks. A Missouri
â%u20AC%u0153endangeredâ%u20AC species is: â%u20AC%u0153one whose prospects for survival
within the state are in immediate jeopardy.â%u20AC  (NOTE: A state
classification of â%u20AC%u0153endangeredâ%u20AC does not necessarily reflect the
animalâ%u20AC%u2122s status with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; that is, a
state â%u20AC%u0153endangeredâ%u20AC species may not be federally â%u20AC%u0153endangered.â%u20AC)

Based on current knowledge, mountain lions are more accurately
classified as â%u20AC%u0153extirpatedâ%u20AC rather than â%u20AC%u0153endangered.â%u20AC Extirpated
does not mean mountain lions are extinct but that a viable, reproducing
population was present in Missouri in the past but not today.  Physical
evidence is readily found in other states with known mountain lion
populations, but years of searching by biologists has not revealed any
evidence of populations in Missouri or any of the surrounding states.

Therefore at the April 7, 2006 meeting, the Conservation Commission
corrected a portion of the Wildlife Code by removing the mountain lion
from the list of â%u20AC%u0153endangered speciesâ%u20AC in Missouri. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation receives hundreds of reports of
mountain lion sightings each year in Missouri. After extensive
investigations, the vast majority are determined to be other animals.
Regardless, these â%u20AC%u0153sightingsâ%u20AC and attendant rumors have led many to
believe that mountain lions are present in large numbers or that there
may be a small population of mountain lions in parts of Missouri.

There have been ten (10) mountain lions have been confirmed in Missouri
since 1994, including two road-kills (Clay Co. in Oct. 2002, and
Callaway Co. in Aug. 2003).  This type of evidence is in no way
indicative of a population of mountain lions in Missouri but rather
proof that individual animals occasionally show up in the state.  We
know that dispersing males looking for new territory can travel long
distances and theoretically could find themselves in Missouri.  Also,
there are about 26 people who have a permit to hold mountain lions in
captivity and an unknown number of people who may hold them illegally.
It is reasonable to believe that these animals may occasionally escape
or may be released intentionally.

The change in status to â%u20AC%u0153extirpatedâ%u20AC does not change, in any way,
the level of protection that mountain lions have in Missouri and the
â%u20AC%u0153endangeredâ%u20AC classification does not afford any additional
regulatory protection for a species.  All wildlife in Missouri is
protected by the provisions of the Wildlife Code.  We do not condone
indiscriminate killing of mountain lions just because they may
occasionally wander into Missouri.

You can find more about mountain lions in Missouri by visiting our web
site at http://www.missouriconservation.org/ and type in â%u20AC%u0153mountain lionâ%u20AC in
the search box.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  If you would like to talk
more on this issue please donâ%u20AC%u2122t hesitate to contact me directly.



Rex Martensen
Private Land Services
Field Program Supervisor
(573) 522-4115 ext. 3147
rex.martensen@mdc.mo.gov

Contact Information
Gov.Matt Blunt

Web Site: gov.missouri.gov

Missouri Capitol Bldg., Rm. 216
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: (573) 751-3222
Fax: (573) 751-1588

Please welcome the Mountain Lion back!
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