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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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Monday, April 23, 2012

Pumas continue to be reported in Ontario, Canada,,,,,a reaffirmation of Biologist Rick Rosatte's recent peer reviewed article that declared that Pumas indeed were living in the Province..........President of the Ontario Puma Federation Stuart Kenn is in sync with Rosatte's conclusions and states: "The Niagara Escarpment is a pretty good place for pumas to be roaming"....."There is a natural running corridor of forested area between Shelburne and Airport Road"..... "It is isolated, (animals) can move quickly and quietly, and actually move between populated areas without being detected"

Is there a cougar in Dufferin?

Unconfirmed sighting reported recently by East Luther Grand Valley man

Maybe it was just passing through, perhaps it is still here, but a cougar(s) could be roaming Dufferin County."It wouldn't be unusual for a cat to be in that area," said Stuart Kenn, president of the Ontario Puma Federation (OPF), referring to the thick-forested valleys between Shelburne and Hockley Valley. "The Niagara Escarpment is a pretty good place for pumas to be roaming."
A recently released report by provincial wildlife research scientist Rick Rosatte confirms cougars — also known as pumas —are living in Ontario.

While researchers didn't uncover any concrete evidence like scat, paw tracks, DNA samples or photographs of cougars in Dufferin, the study reports there were six credible sightings of the highly evasive cat in the Orangeville, Shelburne, Alliston and Acton areas from 2008 to 2009."The sightings were credible based on their description of the animal," Rosatte said in an email. "Cougars are habitat generalists, and as long as there is an adequate prey base (eg. deer), cougars could exist in an area."

 For instance, Kenn said the Niagara Escarpment, which covers parts of Dufferin County like Mono Cliffs Provincial Park and Hockley Valley, is an ideal corridor for any type of wildlife, including cougars. "There is a natural running corridor of forested area between Shelburne and Airport Road," he said. "It is isolated, (animals) can move quickly and quietly, and actually move between populated areas without being detected."

 Hockley Valley has been on Kenn's cougar radar before. When several people claimed to see one north of County Road 1 about 10 or 15 years ago, he set a camera up but was unsuccessful in his attempt to photograph one.

A cougar's habitat can range from 500 to 1,000 square kilometres. Although people commonly mistake deer, dogs, fishers, lynx, bobcats or domestic cats as cougars, reported sightings are coming through in high numbers.Kenn recently received several reported sightings from people in Dufferin, including one from an East Luther Grand Valley resident earlier this month. There was another in October of 2010, where someone reported seeing a cougar in a farmer's field on 1st Line EHS in Mono, south of Island Lake."A reported sighting isn't anything major," Kenn said. "For example, 95 per cent of sightings are not puma sightings."

Reportedly, the East Luther Grand Valley man was with his wife and son when they saw one large and two smaller cats. Given the fact pumas are solitary animals — assuming the sighting is legit — the family could have seen a female cougar and her two young cubs."That is the only time you'll ever find them together," Kenn said. "They're not pack animals at all."

Several local residents have claimed to have encountered cougars in the last few years. East Garafraxa resident Allan Boynton said he spotted one on 12th Line, near the Grand River, in January of 2009.Later that summer, now 19-year-old Hunter Sinclair was on the roof of her family's garage near 20th Sideroad in Amaranth reading when she noticed something unusual. She claimed to have seen a large reddish-coated animal walk in front of an about five-foot bale of hay located in the farmer's field across the road."She saw just a great big long tail, just the way it moved. They roll, you know the muscles flex, very cat-like," said her father Dan Sinclair. "She was quite certain she saw a cougar."

The Sinclairs were unable to take any pictures, or photograph cougar tracks, so Hunter's sighting will go down as unconfirmed. Nonetheless, Dan is "absolutely" certain there are cougars in Dufferin.
"Without a doubt," he said sternly. "They need a hair follicle or some DNA. Unfortunately, I don't have that. But if I see an airplane fly through the sky, I can tell you it is an airplane."

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