Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cougar may have traveled 1000 miles

The Chicago Tribune today said that the young male cougar's DNA reads of "wild" South Dakota descent, and that it could have traveled over 1000 miles into Chicago where it was shot and killed by police. See the last three blog posts previously here. The cougar might have been the same one that was seen in Milton, Wisconsin, which is near the Illinois border. That cougar left blood behind, and so it will be very interesting to piece this 1000 mile journey together like a CSI investigator, should it be the same cat, which many experts say it is.

Google "chicago cougar dna" for a variety of posts on this topic

This is something an extremely knowledgeable friend of mine gave permission to post here, in response to yesterday's blog suggestions:

"When reviewing public comments and suggestions from concerned citizens on wildlife issues I always found them useful. Unfortunately for certain species such as the big cats and Grizzly bears the human population growth and expansion spells trouble. These species are wilderness species.

Research studies have indicated that a couger has a home/hunting range of about 90 square miles (about 55,000 acres). Thats per couger! Thats why this type of species needs vast areas of wilderness. The Eastern US developed first and human population expanded removing the Eastern Cougers wilderness habitat. This is why the Eastern couger is endangered where as the Western populations of cougers are not (and still hunted). The West still has vast areas of wilderness and hopefully will remain that way. But that does nothing for the plight of the Eastern Couger. Its all about habitat for a viable population rather than the welfare of a single individual.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that the Eastern cougers wilderness habitat cannot be brought back anymore than the fast praires for the millions of buffalo that onced roamed there. There are still pockets of wilderness in the Eastern states where cougers can still survive, however, where does a growing couger population go? Urban development meets couger expansion! The couger off-spring are pushed out of a limited wilderness territory already occupied by other cougers. Pushed, unfortunately, into your back yard setting up a classic human/wildlife conflict. You can't have them in your house and the other cougers won't have them in their house either! What do you do? Make more wilderness? "

Refuge Manager (retired), US Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of National Wildlife Refuges.

I apologize for not knowing the source of these amazing cougar photos.


Here is a recycled magazine vessel I made. Its in my etsy shop here:

Its called "Mona" after the Mona Lisa (by Leonardo DaVinci).

1 comment:

Scott Bulger Photography said...

Great information. Cougars are beautiful animals. I was fortunate to have an encounter with one in the wild.