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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

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

South Dakota Pumas continue to pioneer into Oklahoma with a 2nd road kill occurring Southwest of Oklahoma City in November of 2011.......Of course, the knee jerk reaction from biologists with the Oklahoma Dept of Wildlife Conservation is that the State is "to largely populated to be suitable mountain lion habitat"..........We doubt that statement..........What is true is that so far only male Pumas have made the 500 to 600 mile journey from South Dakota and therefore a breeding population does not appear to exist in Oklahoma at this time

Another Hills lion killed in Oklahoma
By Mark Watson

"Fortunately someone had seen it hit or something and contacted the game wardens," said Erik Bartholomew, a furbearer biologist for the wildlife department of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.Wildlife officials further determined that it was a wild lion, as it contained porcupine quills in its stomach.

This isn't the first time that a Black Hills lion was killed or captured in Oklahoma.
In 2004 a lion was killed by a train near Red Rock, Okla. — a straight-line distance of about 670 miles and the longest recorded dispersal of a lion. In April 2011, a female lion from the Black Hills was captured by Tulsa Zoo officials and later taken to the zoo. "We get reports of lions all the time, but we verify them only two or three times a year," Bartholomew said.

Although there are some remote parts of the state conducive to the large predators, Bartholomew said Oklahoma is largely too populated to be suitable mountain lion habitat."We have no indication of any breeding happening," he said.

Deer are a staple of the Puma diet

John Kanta, regional wildlife manager with the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, said they have recorded a number of long dispersals from mountain lions, typically sub adult males."We had one with a malfunctioning collar show up in Saskatoon, Canada," Kanta said.

Saskatoon is located in southern Saskatchewan. A report published in 2010 showed six of 24 collared lions from the Black Hills dispersed greater than 250 kilometers, and other long-range dispersals were recorded. Those were mainly males, but females were recorded in Wyoming and Montana.

Bartholomew said other Black Hills lions have been found in Missouri and other parts of Oklahoma, including the latest one that was killed."We have no idea of the path he used to get to Oklahoma," Bartholomew said. "However, with him being killed near the South Canadian (River), he likely was following the river where their primary prey — white-tailed deer — would be in high abundance."
Bartholomew said Friday he was responding to reports of a lion photographed on a trail camera in Osage County, located in northern Oklahoma, and added that lions carry a negative stigma in the state and people, given the opportunity, will shoot the animals. "We don't want to see that happen," he said.

South Dakota closed its mountain lion hunting season on March 1 after 73 lions were killed. The state set a 70-lion quota, but hunters were still in the field when the 70th lion was shot.Kanta said biologists are "crunching numbers" to evaluate the population. The GF&P wants to lower the lion population in the Hills to about 150-200 animals. Kanta said officials are projecting the population will be lowered from 2011, but it is still too early to tell.

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