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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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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Interesting that Utah Dept. of Wildlife Section Chief Kevin Bunnell is candid enough to go on the record and admit that "predation by cougars is just one of several reasons why adult deer die"........... "And it’s probably not the major reason deer herds in many areas are struggling".....................He goes on to say "In a situation like this(deer #'s decreasing in Utah), temporarily increasing the number of cougars that are taken can allow a deer population to expand".............That's all good and nice Kevin but what is missing is you also saying that the real key to optimizing deer populations is through proper land management(keeping the land intact), modifying human hunter take and limiting human building and developing in core deer reserves............Whether it be deer health or human health, most of us always reach for the medicine rather than trying to prevent the onset of malaise through the proper preventive regimines

Utah deer threatened by Pumas?

- A deer study that’s underway in Utah has provided two things—better information about the number of adult deer that are surviving from year to year and a chance to manage cougars in a way that should benefit deer the most.
Starting with the 2011–2012 cougar hunting season, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources would like to make the following changes:
They want to establish nine large cougar management areas in Utah. Each area would have smaller hunting units within it. The units would be used to set hunting permit numbers for the entire area.

After setting permit numbers for each unit in the area, biologists would add the number of permits together. The total number of permits would be the cougar objective for the entire area. Hunting would continue on all of the units in the area until the total objective for the area was reached or the season ended.
One additional factor—the number of female cougars taken in an area—could also result in the hunt in the area closing early. If a certain number of females were taken, the hunt would close early to protect the cougar population in the area.
More precise management
Kevin Bunnell, Wildlife Section chief for the DWR, says creating cougar management areas based on areas in the state where deer have had radio collars placed on them is a more precise way to balance the number of cougars and the number of deer.
“The study is giving us up-to-date information about the deer herds in these areas,” he says.
Bunnell says predation by cougars is just one of several reasons why adult deer die. And it’s probably not the major reason deer herds in many areas are struggling. “But when the number of adult deer in a herd is below average,” Bunnell says, “that’s an indication that cougars might be one of the factors that are limiting the growth of the herd.

“In a situation like this,” he says, “temporarily increasing the number of cougars that are taken can allow a deer population to expand.”
Bunnell says cougars rarely prey on deer fawns. Instead, they focus mostly on adult deer.

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