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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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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We all love seeing the bold and adventurous male Pumas prospecting territory east into Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky and now Tennessee.........Sept 19 sighting of what appears to be a Puma at the Tenn./Kentucky border(picture below) suggests that if we had the political will to "plant" a few female Pumas east of the Mississippi River (even with the reduced populations now existing in South Dakota and Nebraska(due to overhunting--see below), we just might get a breeding population of the Cats taking hold, and true rewilding of this much needed Deer predator across our eastern states--Will that 1 in a million female Puma somehow get the wanderlust and connect with one of the males that periodically forge east for a new life?

Mountain lion seen near Ky.-Tenn. border

A trail camera in far northwest Tennessee has captured an image of a mountain lion, providing further potential evidence of the big cat's reclamation of its former range in the eastern United States.

That the image was taken on Sept. 19 on private property in a county bordering on Kentucky will no doubt further the speculation on the origins of a mountain lion shot and killed by in Kentucky by wildlife officials last year.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said they believe the Bourbon County mountain lion shot by their officer was not a wild animal, while biologists outside the state have said the evidence suggested it may have indeed walked into the state from its likely South Dakota origins.
Tennessee wildlife officials are 
still in the process of 
confirming the camera sighting,
Tennessee Wildlife
 Resources Agency spokesman 
Don King
 said Tuesday the
 photo appears to be legitimate.
 lion has not been 
confirmed by state authorities in
 in perhaps
 100 years, he said.
Biologists are looking for physical evidence such as tracks or other trail cam images in an effort to get more information, he said.
Tennessee allows people to have captive mountain lions, but there were none that they knew about in that region, he said.
The Cougar Network, whose researchers study mountain lion range expansion, noted the sighting's potential significance:
The confirmation took place in Obion County, which is in western Tennessee, approximately 80 miles west of Nashville and only a few miles east of the Mississippi River on the border of Kentucky. To our knowledge, this is Tennessee's first cougar confirmation in recent history.
The recent cougar confirmations in Tennessee and Kentucky appear to represent a continuation of the increasing trend of male cougars dispersing from established western populations into the Midwest.  Confirmation of cougars in Midwestern states, where they had once been extirpated, is no longer rare and is becoming almost a routine experience. 
We are not surprised by the Tennessee and Kentucky cougars.  Based on what we have been seeing in Midwestern states over the past 15 years, we had considered confirmations in these states to be just a matter of time.  The state game agencies need to prepare themselves for more incidents like these going forward.  There is nothing to be alarmed about.  Cougars generally have a healthy fear of people.


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