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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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Sunday, February 3, 2013

In 21st Century America, one does not look at the state of Iowa and think of it as a land that Indian Agent Joseph Street in 1833 described as follows--"I HAD NEVER RODE THROUGH A COUNTRY SO FULL OF GAME"........Indeed, the American prairie(and what we call Iowa today) was indeed a land of plenty, with Bison, Elk, Deer, Wolves, Coyotes, Pumas, Bobcats and Lynx, all living in concert...................If in fact this was the case in 1833, think what this land looked like 330 years prior(AD 1500) when the first Spanish explorers traversed this part of the world............Following are excerpts from former Iowa State Ecology Professor James Dinsmore's fascinating book, A COUNTRY SO FULL OF GAME, THE STORY OF WILDLIFE IN IOWA


-The last Wolf killed in Iowa was in the winter of 1884-85 in Butler County(Interesting that a few Wolves hung on as long in the Eastern states even though they had been settled by Europeans 230 years previously)

-The first Wolf bounty was established in Iowa in 1817 with $2 for every Wolf killed


-Wolves were most abundant in north central and north western Iowa as this region had the largest Bison herds

-Pumas occurred across Iowa, but in low numbers

-The last recorded Puma killed in Iowa occurred in 1867 in Appanoose County


-Pumas disappeared from the state in the 1860's as did their primary prey, Deer and Elk

-It is possible that Grizzlies lived in Iowa, but there are no records of this being so

-Black Bears occurred across the state but the heaviest density of the Bruins was in the Eastern half of Iowa, which was the most wooded

-Bears, like Wolves, Pumas, Elk and Deer were all but gone from Iowa by the end of the Civil War(late 1860's)

-Lynx were all but absent from Iowa but there are a handful of recorded records of the "big pawed cat" stretching into the early 1880's


-Bobcats were numerous in Hamilton County in the early days of settlement(1830's)

-By the late 1880's Bobcats were all but extirpated from Iowa

Black Bear

-Coyotes while persecuted, never completely were eliminated from Iowa..........but by 1890, were considered uncommon

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