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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, July 30, 2012

If there is not a Puma breeding population in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan then you have a lot of unfulfilled young male "cats" stalking the northern hardwood forest.................The 17th verified sighting of a Puma took place on July 18th in northern Marquette County.............

Counting cougars: More evidence of the wild cats confirmed in Michigan's U.P.

cougarJuly2012.jpgThis trail camera photo of a cougar was taken at 2 a.m. on July 18 in northern Marquette County.

The documentation of cougars in Michigan's Upper Peninsula continues to grow.The state's Department of Natural Resources said Friday it verified a trail camera photo of a cougar taken earlier this month in northern Marquette County. The state agency said the photo is the 17th time it has been able to verify the presence of cougars in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.

The DNR acknowledges the presence of an unknown number of adult cougars in the Upper Peninsula, but says there's no evidence they are breeding."The growing body of evidence continues to indicate the presence of an unknown number of adult cougars in the Upper Peninsula," DNR wildlife biologist Adam Bump said in a statement Friday. "In the five years since we confirmed our first cougar report we have yet to receive any evidence of breeding activity, as all images and other physical evidence have been from adult cats."

The DNR says it has confirmed tracks, photos or video from nine Upper Peninsula counties -- Delta, Marquette, Schoolcraft, Mackinac, Chippewa, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga.
Some groups have said they have evidence cougars are also in the Lower Peninsula, but the DNR has not agreed. The state agency has confirmed only Upper Peninsula reports.

Reports of cougar sightings are up in recent years. The DNR says it could be because more individual cougars are moving east from more western locations. Cougars have been known to travel hundreds of miles across multiple states in search of new territory, the DNR says.

The agency said it's also probable that a proliferation of trail cameras in the woods is resulting in more clear, verifiable cougar photos. Others say there are more cougars in the state than officially acknowledged.

The Michigan Wildlife Conservancy released a photo from a southern Marquette County trail camera earlier this summer, saying it's perhaps the clearest photograph of a wild cougar taken in the state.
The Associated Press reports the conservancy says there may be a resident population of cougars, rather than just wandering cats from elsewhere.

Cougars are classified as an endangered species in Michigan.

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