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Thread: more New England mountain lion rumors

  1. #151
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    Trail cam spots one on Michigan's Upper Peninsula:

    "State releases photo of cougar in Upper Peninsula"
    Nice butt shot!
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
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  2. #152

  3. #153
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Coming to a neighborhood near you . . .

    An excellent, interesting article: "Modelling potential dispersal corridors for cougars in midwestern North America using least-cost path methods"

    In other words: Dem cats be comin'.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  4. #154
    Senior Member DrJJFate's Avatar
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    From today's Times Argus in Montpelier, VT:

    http://www.timesargus.com/article/20...WS02/707269963

  5. #155
    Senior Member gaiagirl's Avatar
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    The picture in the photo from the Wallingford newspaper is a young bobcat. They are not here people!!! We have known a population to be in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for years now. This is as far as they've gotten. Random rumors are well-meaning people who see an animal for a few seconds and think they saw what they really didn't and/or people who desperately want to think state agencies are in on some kind of conspiracy.

    Someday, mountain lions will return; the habitat is here, the prey is here, etc. But they aren't here yet. If they were we would damn well know for sure.
    Chris

    In this crowded world, our sense of coexistence with wilderness life can be enforced by heights that are hard to climb. --- John Hay

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrJJFate View Post
    From today's Times Argus in Montpelier, VT:

    http://www.timesargus.com/article/20...WS02/707269963
    The description of the body/tail/weight is impressive.
    3.5-4 feet in length
    tail about same
    weight ~ 125 lbs

    We have a recovering bobcat where I work and he doesn't come close to these measurements. I have also encountered one when biking at the reservoir at dusk, and no way did he measure up to this description.
    I hope we hear more about this from Wildlife. Very interesting.


    http://www.amazon.com/Beast-Garden-P...0149338&sr=8-1

    Great read. Tragic ending!

  7. #157
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiagirl View Post
    The picture in the photo from the Wallingford newspaper is a young bobcat. They are not here people!!! We have known a population to be in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for years now. This is as far as they've gotten. Random rumors are well-meaning people who see an animal for a few seconds and think they saw what they really didn't and/or people who desperately want to think state agencies are in on some kind of conspiracy.

    Someday, mountain lions will return; the habitat is here, the prey is here, etc. But they aren't here yet. If they were we would damn well know for sure.
    I encourage you to take a deeper look at the available evidence, including the presentation by the Maine IF&W biologist linked in one of my posts above. There's also the fact that DNA evidence confirmed the presence of one in the Ossipees back in the mid '90s. And the observation by a NH Fish and Game employee in Barnstead last fall.

    Some of us do know they'e here. We don't claim that a breeding population exists (yet), or that none of the sightings are of escaped/released captive animals. But to dismiss their existence in New England entirely requires closing one's eye to some fairly reliable evidence.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    I encourage you to take a deeper look at the available evidence, including the presentation by the Maine IF&W biologist linked in one of my posts above. There's also the fact that DNA evidence confirmed the presence of one in the Ossipees back in the mid '90s. And the observation by a NH Fish and Game employee in Barnstead last fall.

    Some of us do know they'e here. We don't claim that a breeding population exists (yet), or that none of the sightings are of escaped/released captive animals. But to dismiss their existence in New England entirely requires closing one's eye to some fairly reliable evidence.
    Agreed!
    This is one very important fact that I learned reading The Beast in the Garden. Many blind eyes were turned until the final rude awakening. "Suburbia" had an instant change of heart. They had encountered in a most personal and horrific way the "beast in the garden". Try as they might, they could no longer deny that cougars were living amongst them.

    I sometimes wonder if we will one day be writing the sequel to this book.

  9. #159
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Agree with Sardog.

    Most of the "report - offical reply" conversations go like this:

    Report: "I saw a ______."
    Official Reply: "There is no breeding population of ______ here."

    Obviously, this is cross talk. We're talking about two different things; both statements can easily be true. Let's not go calling people desperate rumor mongers because they report what they saw.

    Could easily be that all sightings are escaped "exotic pets." More people than we realize like to have a "pet" like that to show off for their friends. Very sad for the animal; these critters are not domesticated. (Heck, house cats are barely domesticated. Only dogs, in the pet world, have been human companions long enough to be domesticated.) And if a "pet" mountain lion wants to escape, imagine how hard it would be to keep it captive...

    TCD

  10. #160
    Senior Member gaiagirl's Avatar
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    That's just it; there is NO evidence. I know a biologist who goes out on these calls, and most of the time it's someone's golden retriever. Escaped "pets" are out there, Eastern Mountain lions are not, yet.
    Chris

    In this crowded world, our sense of coexistence with wilderness life can be enforced by heights that are hard to climb. --- John Hay

  11. #161
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiagirl View Post
    That's just it; there is NO evidence. I know a biologist who goes out on these calls, and most of the time it's someone's golden retriever. Escaped "pets" are out there, Eastern Mountain lions are not, yet.
    I'm sure there are some:

    • A__ holes
    • Bob cats
    • Crack pots
    • Dogs ( Golden retrievers? )
    • Everything else

    out there, but I'm also sure there are:

    • For real sightings.

    Even if your acquaintance has never seen a mountain lion on one of his/her calls, it does not invalidate the rest of the claims.
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
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  12. #162
    Junior Member johnranta's Avatar
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    To be or not to be?

    I've been following mountain lion rumors and sightings for the past 15 years or so, since I spent some time studying tracking with Paul Rezendes and Nick Wisniewski, 20 years ago. Two things I learned, and one distinction.

    Two things learned:
    1. There are many, many reports of mountains lions in New England every year. The vast majority of these do not pan out, for a variety of reasons. People who see something are excited, are inexperienced, do not know the difference between a bobcat and a puma, etc. There are/were a group of us who follow up on reports, check evidence (if there is any), and try to figure out what was seen. One "I'm sure it was a mountain lion" I checked out in Princeton MA 10 years ago must have been wearing coyote boots, because those are the tracks it left.

    2. Confirmation requires hard evidence - video or clear photographs (there are very few photos and almost none are clear, such as the one that started this thread - it is out of focus and poorly lit, does not show the body and tail, does not provide scale, etc), scat (w/DNA), a carcass, clear observation by a trained wildlife biologist, etc. That said, there have been a half dozen confirmed sightings over the past 15-20 years in New England - DNA from a scat found in the Quabbin (McWhorter), DNA from Cape Elizabeth ME, a confirmed sighting by a wildlife biologist in Vermont, and a couple of others I'm forgetting. So there is hard evidence that mountain lions have been here in New England in the past 15 years.

    The distinction:
    Escaped (or released) pets are not a native population. They do not represent a population that is growing, breeding and establishing its habitat. Escaped pets are very likely to struggle to survive, and die after a short time, without breeding.

    I'd love there to be a wild population of mountain lions in New England. As others have pointed out, the ingredients are there - extensive forested landscape, and a well (white-tailed deer) stocked larder. We've seen other species return to broad swaths of southern and central New England (moose, black bear) after being absent from those places for 150 years. But moose and black bear spread south from pockets of surviving populations in northern ME and eastern Canada. There's no close-by surviving pocket of mountain lions that I know of. The closest confirmed native populations are in the upper midwest, and north-eastern Canada.

    Until we've got more proof, especially of a breeding population, I'll remain hopeful but skeptical. And looking forward to the next posting on this site, just in case. JR

  13. #163
    Senior Member funkyfreddy's Avatar
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    Thanks JR for your post. 12 years ago I was told by rangers in Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula that their were mountain lions there and in New Brunswick, but the lack of physical evidence makes me wonder at times....

    I would think we would see more evidence such as road kill, etc, if there was a breeding population in the Northeast. My mind is open though....

  14. #164
    Senior Member el-bagr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkyfreddy View Post
    Thanks JR for your post. 12 years ago I was told by rangers in Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula that their were mountain lions there and in New Brunswick, but the lack of physical evidence makes me wonder at times....

    I would think we would see more evidence such as road kill, etc, if there was a breeding population in the Northeast. My mind is open though....
    Tangible evidence of lions in Quebec and New Brunswick:

    http://www.easterncougarnet.org/Queb...orrections.htm

  15. #165
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    This appears to be an informative web site with very interesting links. Scan down to responses to see part 2
    http://www.masslive.com/forums/outdo...ssf?artid=5954

    and more
    http://www.recorder.com/story.cfm?id_no=4900943
    Last edited by Maddy; 07-28-2010 at 03:28 PM.

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