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Once upon a cougar in the Adirondacks.

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  • Once upon a cougar in the Adirondacks.

    Enough of this talk about sightings.

    What's the thought on what the effect will be IF it turned out there was a population or at the very least a mating pair in the Adirondacks?


    What impact would it have on the environment, the whitetail population? Coyotes? Humans? Recreating in the Adirondacks (hunting, backpacking, camping, tourism)? What special measures would have to be put in place?
    We have never discussed that here.

    Hawk
    "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." Lyndon B. Johnson

  • #2
    Start hiking with a Halloween mask on the back of our head...
    Ripples never come back. -Genesis
    CL50 #49

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    • #3
      at the very least i'd like to see a complete hunting ban on cougars in NY.

      as far as human recreational activities? i don't know what would be done differently. do bear bags/canisters even make a difference to cougars? what do they do out west that we don't do here?

      as for their impact on other species ( deer, coyotes, etc. ) these animals were here originally and co-existed just fine with the rest of the critters in the woods, i'm certain they'll work it out again w/o our interference.

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      • #4
        If you see one in the Adirondacks? Jump up and down and whoop with joy! That's what I did the one time I saw a wild one in northwestern California.

        Have any of you avoided visiting national parks and wilderness areas in the West because you were afraid of being attacked by a cougar?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redhawk View Post
          Enough of this talk about sightings.

          What's the thought on what the effect will be IF it turned out there was a population or at the very least a mating pair in the Adirondacks?


          What impact would it have on the environment, the whitetail population? Coyotes? Humans? Recreating in the Adirondacks (hunting, backpacking, camping, tourism)? What special measures would have to be put in place?
          We have never discussed that here.

          Hawk
          Most people would hardly ever notice the difference even with a thriving viable breeding population of Puma. The "legend" and misinformation far out ways the reality IMO. (People wouldn't disappear in the night etc) Camping in Puma territory never once had me thinking I needed to look over my shoulder.

          Nature on the other hand, would very much notice. It might help restore ecological balance as apex predators slightly reduce meso-predators spawning a slight uptick in birds and other prey items of the smaller omnivore/meso-predators. I actually just read a great article from the F&W about the exact subject.
          All the way around, it would be a good thing. After all, it would be nice to one day actually see the "wild" in "forever wild" instead of the scarcity of wildlife in the Adirondacks many of us often post about. The only downside is likely from those afraid of "actual" wilderness environments and for whatever decide to carve up the forest and build in the Adirondacks.
          The more wilderness in the Adirondacks, the better.

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          • #6
            It would be a fantastic thing to have an apex predator, like the cougar, back into the Adirondacks. It will help keep a more natural balance of wildlife.

            If it were well known that cougars existed in the Adirondacks it might discourage the once-a-year, urban hiker. I don't think it would have any impact upon most, if not all, of us here in the way we approach our hiking/backpacking.

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            • #7
              When one heads into the woods he must be aware. If one is not aware things can go bad rather quickly. The deeper the woods the need for heighten awareness. The wilder the woods the need for the highest awareness. To stretch one limitations is truly living. I want to feel uncomfortable because of a new perceived threat in order to achieve a higher awareness.

              "Comfort enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master. Ay, and it becomes a tamer, and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires." Kahlil Gibran
              "A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden

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              • #8
                What's my thought? This is exactly why ENCON had lied & covered up the facts until as a matter of fact" The cat came out of the bag" by DNA testing from Ct roadkill. They don't want to deal with the issue and frankly neither do I. I would simply apply the "3S" solution.

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                • #9
                  The Abundance of Predators...

                  Originally posted by redhawk View Post
                  What's the thought on what the effect will be IF it turned out there was a population... or at the very least... a mating pair in the Adirondacks?

                  What impact would it have on the environment, the whitetail population? Coyotes? Humans? Recreation in the Adirondacks (hunting, backpacking, camping, tourism)? What special measures would have to be put in place?
                  We have never discussed that here.
                  Well, at first glance, I thought Hawk may be a little bored here with his inquiry. Perhaps the result of a mild case of summer doldrums here on the forum.... Whatever...!

                  Not at all familiar with "Puma Concolor Gouguar", I decided to do a little research and was quite taken with my findings on Mountain Lions, also known as Cougars, Panthers or Puma's.

                  There's not a lot of correlation between the link I've posted, and the impact of the Mountain Lion on the Adirondacks, per se. However, you will definitely find the article abundant with information completely relevant to Hawk's inquiry...

                  Reader beware: In the article there's a segment with documented Mountain Lion attacks on human's. The articles are quite detailed, and for the most part, involve children....

                  It's rather lengthy, but definitely well worth the read..... Enjoy

                  Bluesman

                  http://www.aws.vcn.com/mountain_lion_fact_sheet.html

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                  • #10
                    If viable populations of cougars lived in NY, how many deer would they consume?

                    Bluesman,
                    Thanks for the document from the Abundant Wildlife Society. It will take me a while to digest it. It IS dated (1995).

                    Recently, Dr. John Laundre of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation shared some thoughts with us. With his permission, I'm passing it on:

                    Here are some interesting numbers regarding deer in New York:

                    Estimated number of deer: 1,000,000
                    Number of deer hunters: 620,000
                    Number of deer hunters kill/year 200,000
                    Number of deer a population of 1000 cougars would kill/year (based on 42 deer/cougar/year, which is high): 42,000
                    Percent hunter harvest is of total population: 20%
                    Percent cougar harvest is of total population: 4.2%
                    Percent cougar harvest is of hunter harvest: 21%

                    Fact: deer numbers continue to increase in the state so even killing 20% of them does not slow their growth, adding 4% more for lions will not tip the balance!

                    Conclusion: State of New York could have 1,000 cougars and it would not have an effect on deer numbers!

                    Are hunters so greedy as to not want to share even a small percent of the deer population for the health of ecosystems??

                    Food for thought.

                    My questions: Did God create ungulates for the sport hunters? Should our public lands be managed as game farms?

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                    • #11
                      I should make it clear that the questions at the end of the previous post are my own, not Laundre's.

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                      • #12
                        http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...r-cougars.html

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                        • #13
                          The peak deer population was estimated at 1 million.

                          I don't think it's necessarily the greed of hunters, because trust me we'd love to shoot the cats too, but a combination of ignorance and public safety. As much as they look like cuddly kittens they are very powerful creatures and do have the ability to kill people. But if we lost 1 or 2 people to predation a decade is that signficant considering drunk driving, heart disease, etc.. But it is the decision that society has made to err on the side of fearing animals while stuffing the face with cheeseburgers and beer.
                          A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they never shall sit in

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                          • #14
                            Very true! And while it's not a great set of choices, I would much rather go by cougar than by type 2 diabetes...

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                            • #15
                              We received permission from ADK Explorer to post this

                              http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=4913

                              John's ADK cougar habitat suitability study will soon be published here

                              http://journals.cambridge.org/action...ournal?jid=ORX

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