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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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Thursday, July 19, 2012

The picture in the article below provided by the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy shows a photo of a wild cougar they say was taken by a remote camera June 1, 2012, on private property in southern Marquette County, Michigan............ The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it has verified the presence of cougars in Michigan at least 15 times in recent years............. The agency says there's no evidence of breeding activity and believes the cats are probably wandering through the state from elsewhere, while the wildlife conservancy believes Michigan has a resident cougar population...............Welcome back Michigan "ghost cats?"

A cougar is roaming western Wisconsin's Buffalo County.

By: The Associated Press, Superior Telegram
    MONDOVI, Wis. (AP) — A cougar is roaming western Wisconsin's Buffalo County.
The cougar was photographed by an outdoorsman using a trail camera on land between Gilmanton and Mondovi after dark Saturday. A biologist from the Wisconsin DNR verified the sighting after discovering tracks in the area.It's only the second verified cougar sighting in Wisconsin this year. The DNR has been able to confirm visits from just six male cougars to the state since 2008.

The Winona Daily News ( reports the DNR hasn't been able to find additional evidence that would allow it to track the cougar.

The DNR says cougars rarely attack humans, but if you encounter one, don't run. Instead, face the cougar and spread your arms to appear larger. The DNR also recommends yelling or throwing rocks and sticks.

Cougarsighting reported in U.P.'s Marquette County
By Tom Greenwood; detnews

"Photos of cougars are usually captured at night and most ofthem are a bit fuzzy," Rusz said. "But this one was tripped in the middle ofthe day. It's really a great photo." (Michigan Wildlife Conservancy)

Arare daytime photograph of a cougar roaming the woods in the Upper Peninsula isbolstering arguments of wild life experts that the big cats are doing well inMichigan.TheMichigan WildlifeConservancy —a nonprofit organization formed in 1982 — released a photoWednesday of the cougar that was snapped by a trail camera on June 1 on privateproperty in southern Marquette County.

Accordingto Patrick Rusz, director of wildlife programs for the conservancy, the cougarlooks healthy and checks in at about 72 inches from nose to tail and weighsbetween 100 and 120 pounds."Therehave been other confirmations of the existence of cougars in the form of sightings, tracks and scat, but more and more of them are appearing on trailcameras," Rusz said. "For years, the Department of Natural Resourceshas been denying or downplaying the existence of cougars, saying they weresomeone's escaped pet or cats that drifted in from the west."It'stime for them to take a look at this."

Rusz,along with retired DNR forester Michael Zuidema, verified the trail camera'slocation on a well-used wildlife trail atop a wooded ridge.Accordingto Rusz, the camera also has photographed wolves, coyotes, bobcats and otherpredators at the same site over a four-year period.

"Photosof cougars are usually captured at night and most of them are a bitfuzzy," Rusz said. "But this one was tripped in the middle of theday. It's really a great photo."
AdamBump, a bear and fur bearing expert for the Michigan Department of NaturalResources, agrees."That'skind of cool photo of a cougar," said Bump, who said the DNR had 15confirmed cougar contacts in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.

"Allin tracks and photos. Some of the contacts were of a radio collared cougar thatmoved into Michigan from a western state, probably South Dakota."

In total, the DNR has catalogued seven separate cougar photos and eight sets oftracks since 2008. Yet there has been no evidence the cougars in the UpperPeninsula have established a breeding population."We have no evidence of that," Bump said. "And there's really no way totell how many of the cats are living in the U.P. There's at least two but it'salmost impossible to know if there are any others."

Therealso was an earlier sighting in May in Baraga County, specifically in Skanee, atown southeast of the Keweenaw Bay. Resident Fred Nault captured the cougar onfilm May 5 as it crossed a road. The Michigan Department of Natural Resourcesofficials confirmed the animal's presence after visiting the site.

Inaddition to Baraga County, the DNR has confirmed evidence of the radio collaredcougar in Ontonagon, Houghton and Keweenaw counties.

Accordingto its website (, cougars were originally native to the statebut were wiped out near the turn of the 20th century with the last mountainlion spotted in 1906 in Newberry.

TheDNR confirmed that there have been periodic sightings of the cats — which areon the endangered species list — with the situation "not unique toMichigan" and "other Midwest and eastern states as well."

Ruszsaid they will soon officially turn the photo of the Marquette County cat overto the DNR. More photos of the cougar, along with other predators taken withthe trail side camera, can be seen at the conservancy's website at

"Ibelieve that we never really lost our cougars," Rusz said. "I thinkthey've always been here although their numbers have been very low at times.Michigan is still a wild place.

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