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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The quota system of cougar harvest management in Alberta

Published source details

Ross P.I., Jalkotzy M.G. & Gunson J.R. (1996) The quota system of cougar harvest management in Alberta. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 24, 490-494

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Set hunting quotas based on target species population trends Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1990–1991 in boreal forest in Alberta, Canada (Ross et al. 1996) found that setting harvest quotas based on the population trends of the target species, and increasing the length of the hunting season, did not decrease the number of cougars Puma concolor killed by hunters. After setting harvest quotas, the number of cougars killed was higher (54 animals) than before setting of harvest quotas (33 animals). In 1981–1989 radio collars were attached to 44 cougars and data collected used to estimate the population size. The area was divided into 11 Cougar Management Areas and quotas were set at 10% of the estimated population for each area. A further quota of 50% of the total harvest quota was set for female cougars. When either quota was reached, the hunting season within a specific area was closed.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)