Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vancouver Island(Canada) Pumas are thought to be increasing in numbers as the deer that they prey on is surging dramatically.........Wildlife Technicians in the region believe there now may be 600 "Cats" on the Island up 50% from 2001.........I always am cautious in ingesting these type projections as gospel as Vancouver Island only has so much space to fit the top trophic Puma...........and even if the deer are surging, a 50% uptick in the "ghost cat" seems a stretch for my sensibilities..........Note that Puma biologist John Laundre in his great new book entitled: PHANTOMS OF THE PRAIRIE-THE RETURN OF COUGARS TO THE MIDWEST states that Puma density per 100 sq. km will number anywhere from 1 to 3 "cats..........So with approximately 31, 285 sq. km of land on Vancouver Island, in theory if the land did not hold any human infrastructure(wildlands completely), the Island theoretically could harbor 936 Pumas............Realistically, with our human and industrial footprint, let us assume that half of the island has habitat suitable for Pumas----the resulting maximum population considering 3 "cats per 100 sq km would be about 460 animals and not the 600 shouted out in the article below..........I am glad that Pumas have a ecosystems serving population on Vancouver Island,,,,,,,,,,,,I just do not want bombastic projections tossed around for the purpose of frightening folks.........

Cougar population on the Island is rising

Experts say up to 600 animals roaming the area

The cougar population on Vancouver Island is up by about 50% from a decade ago, mirroring a rising Island deer population.A Nanaimo wildlife technician said the cougar population could be as high as 600, up from a maximum of 400 in 2001.

A report of a cougar seen guarding over a deer carcass in an Extension yard this week led to a warning from school officials for parents to remind school children to use extra caution while walking in the neighbourhood.Other sightings have come from all corners of the city. It's not unusual to see more cougar activity in the spring, but the predators' populations do naturally rise with populations of its natural prey.

Right now, Island deer herds are increasing. "I believe it's on the a bit of an upswing because of the deer on Vancouver Island," said conservation officer Stuart Bates."Our number of cats, the last estimate we did was in 2010, it's 400 to 600 animals,," said Jerry MacDermott, who has studied the wild cats for about a decade on the Island.

In 2001, it was 300 to 400. Cougars are elusive and difficult to track, especially the males.
"We have a satellite tom (cat) that travels from Mount Benson to Port Alberni, and typically a male will overlap with four or five females," MacDermott said.

It's easier to track deer within 13 geographic areas."We can't survey every portion of the Island but within those we can do our inventories."As deer populations rise, more cougars survive. That can create trouble for young, inexperienced cats when older cats push them out of their territory, closer to urban areas and healthy deer.

In one highly publicized example years ago, a cougar was tranquillized and captured in the Empress Hotel parkade in Victoria.Such circumstances are rare, but they are often dangerous situations.
"You might have 10 cats on the outskirts of town and you wouldn't know it but you might have a cougar emaciated that could take a risk to attack a pet or there have been incidents where cougars have been spotted in all kinds of places, like the Empress, or on a school property," MacDermott said.
Longer-term, he predicts the cougar population will stabilize along with deer herd numbers.

No comments: