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)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mark McCollough is a friend and the biologist who conducted the 5 YEAR REVIEW, SUMMARY AND EVALUATION OF THE STATUS OF COUGARS IN THE EASTERN USA OUTSIDE OF FLORIDA............His 2011 report concluded that the Eastern Cougar to be functionally extinct east of the Mississippi(outside of the 100 or so animals still calling Florida home)................Mark and another good friend, Puma biologist John Laundre(Landscape of Fear paradigm), were called upon and provided important information for Yale School of Forestry's Henry B. Glick whose just published MODELING COUGAR HABITAT IN THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES can be read in full below---Mr. Glick takes into account prey base(deer and Moose), road and human population density and other key factors to conclude that a minimum of 322 Cougars could once again reside in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and the Adirondack State Park of NY............Glick also discusses his modeling paradigms that suggest that as a highly adaptable animal, as many as 2,535 Cougars could make a living in New England/New York................Let us all be around for the initial populating of this region with both Cougars and Wolves joining Eastern Coyotes, Bobcats, Lynx, Black Bears, Fishers and Martens,,,,,the current carnivore suite of the Northeast

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rick Meril <>
Date: Sun, Oct 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM
Subject: Yale University Pumas study
To: "McCollough, Mark" <>, 

Modeling cougar habitat in the Northeastern United States
Henry B. Glick∗
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

click on link below to read full research paper


Hope this finds you well and enjoying.................Have not conversed with you for a couple of years
and wanted to re-enter your sphere with the latest Northeast assessment by Yale University suggesting that as few as 322 and as many as 2535 pumas could once again inhabit New England and New York State.

Guessing that you are familiar with this new paper(attached).

Your thoughts Mr Mark please based on your 2011 comments below please.




Dr. McCollough has been evaluating the possible existence of
cougars in the East that are descended from native stock as 
part of the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Five Year 
Review of the Eastern Cougar.  We expect the report to be

 Biologist disputes cougar sightings

- Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Warren Bryant, left, of Jay describes how he found what appeared to be cougar tracks three years ago in Moscow as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife biologist Mark McCulloch examines Bryant's photographs of the tracks following the biologist's presentation Wednesday night on Eastern cougars at the University of Maine at Farmington. In back is Al Stark of Phillips who said he'd seen cougar tracks in the Moscow-Caratunk area and in Phillips

FARMINGTON — Warren Bryant of Jay and Al Stark of Phillips learned Wednesday night that they had something in common: Both believe they've seen tracks in Moscow made by an Eastern cougar, possibly the same one.

Bryant photographed the tracks three years ago and took copies to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Mark McCullough to learn whether they were from a mountain lion.
McCullough of Orono was in town Wednesday night to present a program titled "The Eastern Cougar: Wild Cats or Wild Imagination" for the Western Maine Audubon Society at the University of Maine at Farmington.

After viewing Bryant's photos, McCullough said the track looked more like that of a large dog because the hind-edge heel shape didn't have the distinctive three even lobes that cougars have.
"Toes of cats are more rounded versus toes of dogs, which are more tear-dropped, and you'll see a toenail," McCullough said.

Stark told the biologist that his grandson said he saw a cougar chasing a deer near Robinson Pond in Moscow while hunting. Stark also said he had seen what he believes are cougar tracks in Phillips.

Following Wednesday night's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program entitled "The Eastern Cougar: Wild Cats or Wild Imaginations?" by federal wildlife biologist Mark McCullough at the University of Maine at Farmington, Lisa and Warren Bryant of Jay, left, asked McCullough if photographs Warren Bryant took three years ago in Moscow are cougar tracks.

Bryant said he's seen what appear to be big cat tracks three times in Moscow just west of the radar station, and that hunters have told him they've seen a cougar on Macomber Hill in Jay. Stark said he's seen cougar tracks near Moxie Mountain in Caratunk.
McCullough advised both to contact Chuck Hulsey, a wildlife biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Strong, and to visit the Cougar Network at

He also told them to return to the area after snowfall to search for tracks and to photograph a sequence of stride tracks beside measuring tape.
"In snow, you will see where their tail drags every once in a while," McCullough said. "If its tracks show that it jumps 20 feet onto a log, that's not a St. Bernard."
McCullough's slide show addressed cougar sightings by taking viewers through a history of the big cats in both North and South America from millions of years ago to the present.
"This is an animal that's probably extinct, although we get numerous reports of cougars being seen all the time," he said of what he called Unidentified Feline Objects, eliciting laughter.
In 1967, the Eastern cougar was one of the nation's first species placed on the federal endangered species list.
McCullough said that in Colonial times, hunters exterminated cougars, along with their main prey, the white-tailed deer, to the point that cougars were rarely encountered in Maine during the 1800s.
"The last one in Maine was believed killed in 1938," McCullough said. "Many early naturalists wrote that the Eastern cougar went extinct by the early 1900s."
"The eradication of the cougar in the East continued through the Midwest and West," he said.

Warren Bryant of Jay holds photographs taken of what he believes to be the possible track of a mountain lion in Moscow.

"Between 1900 to 1970, over 200,000 cougars were killed by federal and private bounty hunters. Cougars were considered vermin and there was an unrestricted harvest of the animals."

For a male cougar to exist, it must have 44 deer each year, whereas a female mountain lion with cubs must have 113, which is why they require a fairly dense population of deer, and plenty of space, McCullough said.
Males, he said, can range from 78 to 195 square miles and females from 8 to 400 square miles.

McCullough said there are two new populations of cougars in the Dakotas and evidence that some are dispersing throughout the country, but whether any have returned to Maine is a lively topic.
Offering three hypotheses for cougars existing in Maine, McCullough said they may not have been completely wiped out, or they are dispersing from known populations in the Midwest or Canada, or, most likely, they're pets that have either escaped from captivity or have been released.
"The way we as scientists look at it is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," he said. "Ninety to 95 percent of reports of cougar sightings are the mistaken identification of other species of wildlife."


Eastern cougar

For immediate release 
March 2, 2011                                             


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

concludes eastern cougar extinct

Bruce Wright, New Brunswick wildlife biologist and author, with what is believed to be the last eastern puma.  The puma was trapped by Rosarie Morin of St. Zacharie, Quebec in Somerset County, Maine in 1938. Mounted specimen resides in the New Brunswick Museum in St. John, New Brunswick.
Credit: USFWS     
Bruce Wright, New Brunswick wildlife biologist and author, with what is believed to be the last eastern puma. The puma was trapped by Rosarie Morin of St. Zacharie, Quebec in Somerset County, Maine in 1938. Mounted specimen resides in the New Brunswick Museum in St. John, New Brunswick.

Although the eastern cougar has been on the endangered species list since 1973, its existence has long been questioned. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) conducted a formal review of the available information and, in a report issued today, concludes the eastern cougar is extinct and recommends the subspecies be removed from the endangered species list.

“We recognize that many people have seen cougars in the wild within the historical range of the eastern cougar,” said the Service’s Northeast Region Chief of Endangered Species Martin Miller. “However, we believe those cougars are not the eastern cougar subspecies. We found no information to support the existence of the eastern cougar.”

Reports of cougars observed in the wild examined during the review process described cougars of other subspecies, often South American subspecies, that had been held in captivity and had escaped or been released to the wild, as well as wild cougars of the western United States subspecies that had migrated eastward to the Midwest.

During the review, the Service received 573 responses to a request for scientific information about the possible existence of the eastern cougar subspecies; conducted an extensive review of U.S. and Canadian scientific literature; and requested information from the 21 States within the historical range of the subspecies. No States expressed a belief in the existence of an eastern cougar population. According to Dr. Mark McCollough, the Service’s lead scientist for the eastern cougar, the subspecies of eastern cougar has likely been extinct since the 1930s.

The Service initiated the review as part of its obligations under the Endangered Species Act. The Service will prepare a proposal to remove the eastern cougar from the endangered species list, since extinct animals are not eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal will be made available for public comment.
The Service's decision to declare the eastern cougar extinct does not affect the status of the Florida panther, another wild cat subspecies listed as endangered. Though the Florida panther once ranged throughout the Southeast, it now exists in less than five percent of its historic habitat and in only one breeding population of 120 to 160 animals in southwestern Florida.

Additional information about eastern cougars, including frequently asked questions and cougar sightings, is at: Find information about endangered species at

The Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and a trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Download printable PDF version
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concludes eastern cougar extinct
 (March 2, 2011) (PDF 25K)

No comments: