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CURRENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
The key to successful cougar conservation is the development of widespread and enduring public support for maintaining thriving and ecologically effective populations of cougars and sufficient habitat for supporting them. Because controversy over cougar management is fueled in part by limited understanding of the cougar's role in the ecological community, educational and public awareness initiatives are essential.
Beginning in the spring of 2012 and based on Florida Gulf Coast University's Panther Posse program, Cougar Posse teaches fourth grade children about cougars and their importance in the ecosystem, kittens, research, water conservation, natural history, and the other wildlife that share the cougar’s habitat using science, math, spelling, and music, and requires each student to educate two others. We hope to expand the program beyond western Wyoming in the future.
Hunter Education Courses
The Cougar Fund recommends that state wildlife agencies adopt a strategy for hunting cougars that adequately protects females and kittens. Helping hunters identify the sex of a cat is a simple and easy way to better protect cougar populations and avoid the orphaning and death of kittens.
Public Awareness Presentations
As need and opportunity arises, the Cougar Fund partners with different professionals and groups to bring cougar education into communities that need it most. Whether we're meeting with the general public or interested stakeholders, we aim to help people understand the many issues that surround cougars and how to live and recreate safely in cougar country.
Cougar management should serve the common interests of the public, which is the goal of public policy in a democracy and not the special interests of a few, but cougar management has become increasingly controversial. Although public institutions such as state wildlife agencies are mandated to conserve wildlife as part of the public trust, the focus is often highly politicized. The Cougar Fund seeks to create opportunities for constructive deliberation between people with different values and perspectives, as well as balance human interests with healthy cougar populations.
State Management Plan Reviews
In every western state cougar management plans come up for evaluation and comment every few years, depending upon the state. As this occurs, The Cougar Fund works with game and fish agency personnel, research scientists, hunters, houndsmen and conservation groups to produce and ensure a science-based plan.
The Cougar Fund believes that peer-reviewed science is the basis for progressive cougar management. We support groups or individuals doing relevant and conservation-oriented research using the latest methods and technology.
In addition to Public Awareness & Education and Science & Policy Management, donations designated for general operations can go towards all costs associated with running the organization, including rent, utilities, office supplies and staff salaries.
Your purchase of Cougar Fund caps, mugs, books and artwork will help support our mountain lion outreach and education initiatives.