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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 10, 2017

"I own this mountain"....You ski at my discretion!


Ski-run surprise: Lynx stroll

 past crowds in rare sightings

 — Some elusive and charismatic
 lynx have been parading past awe-struck
Colorado residents and visitors this winter,
electrifying social media and giving biologists
reason to smile.

One of the rare, fluffy-looking cats strolled
 nonchalantly across the Purgatory resort
in southwestern Colorado last week,
 threading through a crowd of skiers
and snowboarders who swerved around
 the animal and stopped to take videos.
Two weeks earlier, a pair of lynx loped
 along a mountain highway a few feet
from Dontje Hildebrand's car.
"My heart just about busted out of my
chest when I realized what I was seeing,"
said Hildebrand, who was driving over
 Molas Pass, about 15 miles north of
the Purgatory resort, when he came
 upon a female lynx and her kitten.
Between 50 and 250 lynx live in the
 wild in Colorado, mostly in the
southwestern corner of the state,
biologists say. That's down from
previous estimates of 200 to 300,
 but officials cite better calculations,
not a population decline.
They are protected under the
Endangered Species Act in the
 contiguous 48 states.
Lynx, native to Colorado, virtually
 disappeared from the state by the
1970s because of hunting,
poisoning and development. The
 state brought them back starting in
1999, transplanting lynx from Canada
 and Alaska.
The medium-size cats have tufted
 ears, short tails and broad paws
that work like snowshoes, letting
them walk across powdery snow.
They can grow to nearly 3 feet long
 and 30 pounds.
Wildlife officials don't know exactly
 how many live in Colorado because
 they are so hard to find, said Joe
 Lewandowski, a spokesman for
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
A few people report seeing them
 every year, but those sightings
don't help with the science of lynx
 reintroduction because they are
anecdotal, Lewandowski said.
"But it's encouraging," he said.
The state documents where the
 animals live with a survey using
 automated cameras mounted in
 remote lynx country.
The sightings indicate the cats are
 getting comfortable in the high-
altitude forests of southwestern
Colorado, which are prime lynx
The lynx appearance at Purgatory
 on Dec. 28 was unusual because
 so many people saw it, Lewandowski
Jim Russell was snowboarding that
day when he and dozens of others
watched the lynx mosey across a ski
"For being a wild animal, it was pretty
 surprising to see him so relaxed
 around people," Russell said.
He and others took cellphone video
 and posted it on social media, gaining
 broad attention.
"At first it kind of looked like a feral
 cat," Russell said.
But then he remembered seeing
Hildebrand's photos of the Molas
Pass lynx on the front page of the
 Durango Herald , "and pretty quick
 I was able to identify it."
Lynx generally are not a threat to
 people, Lewandowski said.
They are docile, they eat mostly
snowshoe hares and they likely
would not take on anything as
large as a human. But they also
 are unpredictable, and people
should never approach them or
 feed them, he said.
— Colorado Parks and Wildlife
 lynx page:
— U.S. Fish and Wildlife lynx

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