It’s official: the eastern cougar is extinct. That’s what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decreed this week. And since it doesn’t exist, the eastern cougar was removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened species. The odd thing, though, is that the eastern cougar per se may never have existed. The ruling was not unexpected. It is a reaffirmation of a tentative conclusion that FWS reached a few years ago. The decision is unlikely to end the debate over whether cougars live in the Adirondacks. There have been dozens of sightings over the years, and many people believe >>More
Wildlife biologist Paul Jensen will give a lecture on “Big Cats of the Adirondacks” at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, January 29. Jensen will talk about the historical distribution of mountain lions, Canada lynx, and bobcats in the Northeast and how these species may be affected by changes in the landscape and the climate in the years ahead. Mountain lions and Canada lynx no longer live in the Adirondacks, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Last year, however, officials confirmed that a mountain lion struck by a car >>More
An advocate of reintroducing the cougar to the Adirondacks will speak at the Whallonsburg Grange at 7 p.m. Thursday. Christopher Spatz, president of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation, has argued in the pages of the Explorer and elsewhere that reintroducing the cats would restore the Adirondack Park’s ecological balance. Spatz will discuss cougar biology and behavior, recent studies of cougar populations, and the much-publicized case of the cougar that migrated from South Dakota to Connecticut. The talk is sponsored by the Northeast Wilderness Trust and the Champlain Valley Conservation Partnership. For more information, call 802-453-7880 or e-mail Rose Graves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The wild cougar that journeyed some 1,800 miles from South Dakota to Connecticut passed through the Adirondacks in 2010, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Cindy Eggleston spotted a cougar in her backyard in the town of Lake George on December 16. The next day, her husband, David Eggleston, who is a retired DEC colonel, and Environmental Conservation Officer Louis Gerrain followed the animal’s tracks and collected hair samples from what appeared to be a bedding site. DNA analysis of the hairs indicated that they came from the same cougar that was killed by a car on a >>More
You may have read about the cougar that was killed when struck by a car in Milford, Connecticut, in June. There was a lot of speculation about where it came from. Was it a wild cougar? Was it an escaped or released pet? The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced today that a genetic analysis revealed that the cat likely came from a wild population in South Dakota. DNA samples also revealed that it was the same animal whose movements were tracked in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010. Several years ago, in The Beast in the >>More