View Full Version : Good News for Cougars - the feline kind!!

06-14-2012, 08:55 PM
I've long disagreed with the official stance that mountain lions do not exist in any population east of the Rockies (outside of Florida, of course). Now, it looks like I was right! Waahoo for the big cats!! ::yay:: I'm glad to hear of their return!

American Mountain Lions May be Staging a Comeback (by OurAmazingPlanet Staff)

American mountain lions, commonly called cougars, have been in decline for a century. Once found throughout North America, populations were isolated in the American West due to widespread hunting and loss of prey.

But new evidence shows the animals may be spreading again, returning to their old stalking grounds in the Midwest.

A group of researchers has confirmed 178 cougar sightings in the Midwest over the past few decades, with the number of confirmations steadily increasing between 1990 and 2008, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management. Most of these sightings have taken place within a short distance of habitat considered suitable for the animal, researchers said.

"The western population has spread, with cougar populations re-establishing across the Midwest (http://www.livescience.com/10451-michigan-cougars-extinct-animal-droppings.html)," University of Minnesota researcher Michelle LaRue said in a statement.

Three main cougar populations exist in the Midwest, centered around South Dakota's Black Hills, but a few of the animals have ventured far outside this range. One adult male thought to be from the Black Hills made it all the way to Connecticut a journey of 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) before being hit by a car June 11, 2011, LaRue said. It was the first confirmed cougar sighting in that statesince the 1880s (http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/995-eastern-cougar-puma-extinct.html), according to the Hartford Courant.

Of all cougar carcasses recovered, 76 percent were found to be male. This finding suggests males are leading a steppingstone-type dispersal of the cougar population. As the Connecticut example shows, males are capable of traveling long distances.

"While the distance the Connecticut cougar traveled was rare, we found that cougars are roaming long distances and are moving back into portions of their historical range across the Midwest," LaRue said. The study confirmed the presence of cougars from Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

The researchers examined cougar carcasses, tracks, camera trap photos (http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/1032-camera-trap-images-gallery-wildlife-animals.html), video and DNA evidence to draw their conclusions. They also analyzed cougar sightings by wildlife experts reported since the 1990s and cases of attacks on livestock across 14 states and provinces. The finding raises new conservation questions, such as how humans can live alongside the returning predators. "We believe public awareness campaigns and conservation strategies are required across these states," LaRue said.

Here's the website link:

06-21-2012, 08:19 PM
There have been a couple of reported sightings in and around Glendale, Ia. over the last couple of years.
At least one cat (might be the same one) was seen feeding on the road killed deer that are everywhere around there. So far Animal control has found tracks but not seen any cats.
The theory among wildlife researchers around here, is that cougar are coming to the area due to an abundance of free food since the county is having problems keeping up with carcass removal.
Iowa City has been getting a few also


06-24-2012, 02:23 AM
Just because I sighting has not been confirmed, does not mean the animals are not there. Used to be a young male that would come down from Massachusetts/Vermont into Connecticut every spring and hang around a female at the science museum in West Hartford (this is back in the 1980's) And I saw a cougar near my brothers yard in Harwinton the mid 1990's. Unfortunately some states do not have the funds to acknowledge that some species exist within the state. If they recognized panthers, they would have to set aside state funds to protect panthers. And budgets are tight, so they ignore the cougars (and a few other things) and hope people don't notice.

Last year in Chesterfield, MO, a local man got film footage of a young male walking along the Missouri River. Hard to deny the cat was there when you have it on film!

Supposedly there is a (small) breeding population in New Hampshire/Vermont. And they do get around!

06-24-2012, 10:58 AM
I rather suspect that fear is also a significant factor as to why the big cats are not acknowledged in some states - old folks who may remember the danger of having to travel through cougar-inhabited woods when they were young, and younger folks who have heard stories and are just scared of the cats. People who are afraid for their children to play outdoors, if they think there is a large predator around, rather than teaching their children about the danger and how to be safe. Or keeping their children within eyesight, alternatively. *shrugs* That's my two cents opinion on why they have been ignored.