Visitor Counter

counter Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks commenting on the historic occurrence of Wolves, Cougars and Black Bears in their State............Kansas was a very wild geograhphic region prior to 19th Century Sod Busting........Dispersing male Bears, Cougars and Wolves have source populations within striking distance of Kansas............Does Kansas have the necessary habitat to foster a breeding population of our keystone predators?

historically were primarily found in the woodlands of Eastern Kansas and in the rugged terrain of the Red Hills in the Southcentral and Southwestern portions of the state, and were probably rare or absent from open grasslands. They are thought to have been extirpated from the state by the 1880's, though specimens have been documented from Kansas on occasion since that time. Today, established populations of black bears occur within short distances of Kansas. The Eastern border of a Colorado-New Mexico black bear population occurs within about 100 miles or so of Southwest Kansas, and an expanding Oklahoma-Missouri-Arkansas population occurs even closer to Southeast Kansas. Both populations are within potential travel distances for dispersing or transient black bears, and in fact, black bears suspected to have originated from each population have been documented in Kansas. No wild black bears are currently known to exist in Kansas.
KDWP recognizes the possibility that wolves and especially black bears and cougars may naturally immigrate into Kansas on occasion, and that individuals of these species may exist in the state at any given time, including the present. However, despite numerous investigations of reports of these species (primarily cougar) over many years, only wild black bears have sporadically been verified in recent times. The paragraphs below generally provide an explanation of why these species might reoccur in Kansas, and are meant to provide justification for such a document to be implemented prior to these species becoming established in Kansas. Whether or not Kansans will tolerate the presence of these species remains to be seen, but the potential for their at least occasional reoccurrence does exist.

Black bears

 were historically found nearly transcontinentally, including throughout Kansas. The last documented wild cougar (also referred to as puma, panther, painter, catamount, or mountain lion) in Kansas was shot in Ellis County in 1904. The current distribution of cougars in the Midwest is not well understood. After many decades of absence, cougars have reappeared, even relatively frequently, in several nearby states. Seven cougars have been confirmed in Missouri since 1994, including one that was killed just miles from Kansas. Nebraska has had 14 confirmed cougars since 1991, including multiple animals that most likely originated from the Black Hills population in South Dakota. Oklahoma has confirmed suspected wild individuals in and near the Panhandle, most likely from the recognized Colorado-New Mexico population – which occurs within 75 miles of Southwest Kansas. But more recently (May, 2004), a cougar that had been radio-collared in South Dakota and had dispersed from the Black Hills population, was killed by a train in Oklahoma 40 miles south of Arkansas City, KS. Iowa, Arkansas, and Illinois have also had recent confirmations. When animals have been obtained in many of the instances mentioned above, they have most often been young males – indicating dispersing individuals but not necessarily reproducing populations within those states. The susceptibility of these young animals to roadkill or other forms of mortality indicates that when cougars do first reappear in a state, these animals will be documented prior to the establishment of a reproducing population. Despite numerous reports of cougars in Kansas, a suspected wild specimen has not been documented in recent times.
Cougars



 Gray wolves, or timber wolves as they are often recognized, historically ranged thoughout Kansas with the possible exception of the Southeast corner, and were considered common in the state. They were the first of these three species to be extirpated from Kansas (in the mid-1800's) and have the most distant established wild populations. They appear the least likely of these three species to reinhabit the state. However, gray wolf populations have exceeded their numerical recovery goals as set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for both the Eastern (Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc) and Western (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, etc) Distinct Population Segments (DPSs), and were reclassified from endangered to threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act in April, 2003. At that time, the USFWS announced plans to begin work on proposals to delist both populations, and expects to actually make these proposals in the "foreseeable future." With gray wolf recovery efforts in the Northern states having been so successful, the possibility of occasional immigration of individual animals into Kansas should not be completely dismissed. In fact, in at least four incidences since October 2001, dispersing individuals have shown up far from recognized gray wolf range, including once each in Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and Indiana. In each of these cases, the wolves were known to have dispersed hundreds of miles from packs in Michigan, Wisconsin, or Minnesota.
3

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will actually beg to differ. I know for a fact that there are cougars and wolves populating Kansas. I have seen and heard plenty of both species. I can still remember back in 2000, my brother and I were coming home from a friends house and we almost hit two cougars crossing the highway only six miles from where we lived. So if the State Of Kansas would like to lie, let them, but we all around here know the truth. If we didn't have wolves in the state of Kansas, then a couple of months ago when they had a complaint come across the radio about the Cedar Bluff Lake area that wolves were becoming to close to humans. I guess from what they had said on the radio they have been attacking campsites in the area and almost attacking people. Another way to to prove, I was out at my grandmother's farm the other day and there was a pack of Wolves crossing the road. I know the difference between a coyote and a wolf and they were much too tall and the colors didn't match to that of a coyote.

Anonymous said...

I will agrede with you there is something Kansas is keeping from Its people. I was out hunting one morning last deer season qnd saw what I thought was a bobcat but When I pulled my binnoculars up it was bigger and has a longer tail than a bobcat. the Lady i hunt coyotes for told me she thought she saw 2 wolve in here fríos explaining to me that they Were bigger than a coyote. Kansas introduced the mountain lions because they were tagged with gps chips in case anyone killed one.

Rick Meril said...

perhaps tagged in south dakota?.............wandered into Kansas?

Anonymous said...

I'm almost 100% positive that I saw a wolf in the south end of Topeka today. It was running out by the water tower by the Walmart on 37th & Topeka Blvd. I drove by it as it stopped in the little parking lot by the tower. It was a wolf, not a stray dog or coyote. Very strange that it would be so far inside the city limits, though.

Rick Meril said...

I hope that your observations are accurate..............At this point,a reproducing wolf and Puma population in your state has not been verified by any of the advocacy groups...............I get that your state wildlife agency might not want to publicize a few prospecting inidviuals,,,,,,,,,,,,,but if there was a breeding population for either animal, road kill and sightings with pictures would be occurring,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as there is with the 6 to 10 Pumas residing in Los Angeles