Biologist: South Dakota lion population declining
SDGF&P regional wildlife manager John Kanta has told the Rapid City Journal that mountain lion harvest in the Black Hills in 2015 is on roughly the same trajectory as last year. Kanta also stated that decreasing harvest limits – and the failure of hunters to reach these limits – reflect a declining cat population.
There are some hunters who disagree with this assertion, claiming that lion activity is on the up. However, Kanta’s statements echo what many others have been saying all along: the small, isolated population of cougars in the Black Hills is under extreme pressure and is highly susceptible to declines in the face of sport hunting.