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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, January 31, 2017

A lady Puma has been confirmed to have traversed through Shannon County, Missouri last February 2016............The Missouri Dept. of Conservation revealed this to be the case last Friday after saliva testing on a dead elk found there confirmed it to have been preyed upon by a female Puma..................The last confirmed female Puma to turn up in "the show me state" was 22 years ago in 1994...................A total of 68 overall Puma sightings since this date have been recorded by biologists with the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota being the originating point for virtually all of these animals..............Such long shot odds of a female and male prospecting cats coming together in any of the eastern states as South Dakota and Nebraska keep raising the hunting kill quota on their small breeding colonies.........Unless "lightening stikes" in the Pumas favor, the Power Ball odds of winning $100 million are better than the odds of a prospecting puma couple getting a chance to start a family from Minnesota down thru Texas and across the array of eastern states

First confirmed female mountain lion in Missouri since 1994 killed elk in Shannon County

Wes Johnson,, NEWS-LEADER.COMPublished  Jan. 27, 2017

Mountain lion saliva left on a dead elk
 in Shannon County shows it was a
 female cat, the first confirmed female
 mountain lion in Missouri since 1994.

Laura Conlee, furbearer biologist with
 the Missouri Department of 
Conservation, said the partially eaten 
elk was found in February 2016, and
 tests on the saliva confirmed a 
 mountain lion had eaten it.
MDC stock photo of Puma

"We suspect the elk had brain
 worms and
 there's evidence the mountain lion
 did kill the
 elk," Conlee said.
DNA from the cat's saliva showed it
originated from the Black Hills of
and South Dakota and northwest
Conlee said it's a significant find
female mountain lions typically
don't travel
 long distances, preferring to live
and hunt near where they were born.

Shannon county, Mo. in southeastern
part of the state north of the

"Mountain lion males will disperse
 over very long distances," she said.
 "All of the mountain lions we've
 confirmed so far in Missouri have been
 males. There was just one killed by a car
 last week in Warren County (on I-70) and
 it was a male."
There's no indication the female mountain
 lion is staying in Shannon County, Conlee
 said, and it's possible the cat will continue
 moving. The conservation department
re-established wild elk at the Peck Ranch
Conservation Area near Winona in 2011.
Elk and deer are natural food sources for
mountain lions.

In 2013, the Puma captured in the trail
cam below was
recorded in Shannon, County's Peck Ranch

2013 Puma at Peck Ranch recorded on
 trail cam

Conlee emphasized there still is no evidence
 that Missouri has a breeding population of
mountain lions. The conservation department
 tracks and investigates reports of mountain
 lion sighting, and maintains a website and
 map showing where such sightings have
Conlee said the last confirmed female
mountain lion resulted from a cat that was
 shot in 1994. MDC investigated the
 and later found a mountain lion pelt that
was traced back to the animal that had
been shot. Testing on the pelt showed it
was a female, Conlee said.
In 1996, the department established its
 Mountain Lion Response Team with
specially trained staff to investigate
 reports and evidence of mountain lions.
Since then, all mountain lion sightings
 confirmed by the MLRT have either
proven to be males or have provided
insufficient evidence to determine the
 animal’s sex.
Since 1994, MDC has recorded 68
 confirmed mountain lion sightings
in the state. Confirmations have become
 more common in recent years, likely
due to a combination of factors,
according to Conlee.
“We know the mountain lion population
 has grown in western states, and that
could translate to more dispersing
 mountain lions making their way
 into Missouri, but we have also
 gotten better at finding them,”
Conlee said. “As technology has
advanced, we’ve seen an explosion
 in the numbers of game cameras
 across the Missouri landscape.
We’ve also established more
efficient methods for reporting
and investigating mountain lion
sightings. These factors all likely
 play a role in the increased
 number of confirmed mountain
lion sightings in our state.”
According to the conservation
department, the risk of a mountain
 lion attack in Missouri remains
very small. No mountain lion attack
 on a human has ever been
recorded in the state. People,
livestock and pets face a much
 greater risk from familiar dangers
 we encounter, including automobiles,
 stray dogs and lightning strikes.
MDC has never stocked or released
 mountain lions in Missouri and has
 no plans to do so. However, the
department wants to learn more
about these rare animals and
encourages all citizens to report
sightings, physical evidence, or
other incidents so they can be
Anyone with information about a
 mountain lion can file a report
with the Mountain Lion Response
Team at

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