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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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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Banff National Park officials are still claiming that Cougars are doing well within its borders despite two of the cats having to be put down due to attacks on people and dogs

Cougar population healthy

By Larissa Barlow

A brother and sister cougar pair were captured and collared by Parks Canada in June after exhibiting curious behaviour on Tunnel Mountain. They soon left the park and showed aggressive behaviour — on July 18, the female cornered cyclists and attacked a dog near Canmore and two weeks later the male attacked a six-year-old girl in Bow Valley Provincial Park.
But despite their deaths, there are still a number of mountain lions roaming the Banff landscape. Parks Canada human-wildlife conflict specialist Steve Michel said it's difficult for them to pinpoint the exact number of cougars that live in the park, but through the use of remote cameras in the summer, and snow tracking in the winter, there's enough cougars making Banff their home that they're not worried about the animals.

"The cougar population in the Bow Valley appears to be healthy," he said. From an ecosystem standpoint, the loss of two young cougars isn't significant, but "obviously we like to maintainpredators in the Bow Valley because we have an abundance of elk in the townsite.
"From that standpoint, the more predators to prey on the ungulates, the better."Michel said they don't expect to see a surge in elk and deer populations in town because of the loss of the two.

Young predators like these two cougars face a number of challenges when they leave their mother's side and become independent."It's certainly not unusual for young cougars not surviving into adulthood, but obviously this was a human intervention," Michel said."But these animals might not have survived on their own anyway."

Young cougars can become victims of other, larger predators, or could starve after failing to find food in the wilderness. But Michel said none of that means the Bow Valley can't support a healthy cougar.
"We do have an abundant prey population. Anywhere you have a healthy ungulate population, you can expect to have a healthy cougar population."

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