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Old 09-24-2013, 09:15 PM   #81
gulo
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Cougar Recovery in Eastern North America: Two Perspectives

Panther Love, Cougars Hunting, Kittens Nursing: Everywhere But The East

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Old 09-25-2013, 02:55 PM   #82
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I wonder how wide spread cougars really were in the Northeast. When you see how vast the forests of Eastern Canada are its seems impossible they were killed off. It's probably because they weren't there in the first place.

I have asked experts of the Algonquian language and while they named all the eastern woodland creatures great and small they have no word for cougar.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:02 PM   #83
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It's said that cougars have more names than any other animal because they lived throughout the western hemisphere and shared the land with numerous Indian tribes with different languages, wherever there were trees or other cover for stalking prey, resting, and rearing kittens. According to this source - http://www.cougarfund.org/naturalhistory/names/ - "Cougars living in the area surrounding Lake Eire were given the name Erielhonan, meaning 'long tail' by the Native Americans living there who shared their identity with the Cat calling themselves The Erie or Cat Nation. In 1600, some 14,000 Eries lived in villages between what is now Buffalo, NY and Sandusky, Ohio. In 1656, the Erie were almost exterminated by the Iroquois League. The surviving captives were either adopted or enslaved."
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #84
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I wonder how wide spread cougars really were in the Northeast.
19th century bounty records from every New England state and NY, though only the southwest part of Maine, where white-tails were historically - the rest of Maine was moose and caribou habitat.

None in New Brunswick. Only a couple from Quebec.

The last one killed in NY was in Herkimer County in 1894.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:16 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gman View Post
I wonder how wide spread cougars really were in the Northeast. When you see how vast the forests of Eastern Canada are its seems impossible they were killed off. It's probably because they weren't there in the first place.

I have asked experts of the Algonquian language and while they named all the eastern woodland creatures great and small they have no word for cougar.
Which band of Algonquian language? Many different nations spoke different dialects and had words that others didn't. I know that there is only one fluent speaker of the Abenaki language (Odanak band) left, Elie Joubert, and I am in the process of contacting him, he is a personal acquaintance.
I have also contacted my adopted brother, Phillip Grey Wolf (Waktame) who is a Lenape (Delaware) elder and who speaks the Lenape dialect of the Algonquin Language. I am also trying to contact some Penobscot acquaintances.

I would not limit my search to the Algonquin speakers.There were many bands who spoke using the Iroquoian dialect who were more indiginous to the area which included the Adirondacks more then many of the other bands.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:26 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gman View Post
I wonder how wide spread cougars really were in the Northeast. When you see how vast the forests of Eastern Canada are its seems impossible they were killed off. It's probably because they weren't there in the first place.

I have asked experts of the Algonquian language and while they named all the eastern woodland creatures great and small they have no word for cougar.
In the Lenape Language, an Algonquin dialect:

bob cat = chingwe, Cougar = kwe nixhkwenayas (long tail)

You might also check for other names like panther, Puma, Mountain Lion etc since "Cougars" are called different things in the English language.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:48 AM   #87
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Gerry Parker published a book on the "eastern cougar" in 1998. It provides a historical overview of cougars in the East, especially the Northeast. Parker was a wildlife biologist in New Brunswick. The book can be purchased here - http://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Panthe...astern+panther
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:04 PM   #88
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My intent was to say that the cougar shows signs being completely abscent to the Pre-Cambrian or Canadian Shield area of Eastern North America. Being the largest geological area, by far the largest forested and wild area of the east and incidentally also containing the ADK's it is of some significance.

I was referring to the natives of the southern Shield which were Algonquin and it was the Pikwakanagan and Ardoch bands of Ontario and others adjacent in Quebec I consulted. I realize other Algonquin nations to the south, west and east do have a word for cougar in there vocabulary.

You cannot directly interpret original Native words to English, by that I mean Native words that have no English or French influence. The name for a large, long tailed cat that dwelt in there midst and not a translation of Coug ar, Puma, Mountain Lion etc.. I took care that the word I was asking for is a not modern Native translation of an English word which was difficult.

The site of the last known wild cougar shot in Ontario was at Creemore near the Niagara escarpment, 50 miles north of Toronto and not some remote forest as one might think.

It has made me wonder why? Not enough whitetail deer? Cougar in Alberta kill moose. The only thing I could conclude was the Shield offered relatively poor den sites and too many forest dwelling predators. Bear cubs come out of the den ready to go, wolf pups live with extended family, the pack. Cougar kits are vulnerable for what 2 weeks?
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #89
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"Cougar in Alberta kill moose."

They tend to be younger cats raised on deer who are forced as sub adults into marginal habitat that become specialists of what's available - the bigger ungulates. Cougars are evolved to take deer. The width of their canines is designed to slide between the neck vertebrae of deer - not elk or moose or us. Their historic range is pretty much within the historic range of deer.

They don't need much in the way of denning. A single bush can do.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:16 PM   #90
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In Ontario the last cougar shot (it was an attack) was near the village of Creemore on the southern end of Georgian Bay on the Niagara Escarpment. That was in 1886. This is significant why? Because it would not be for another 20-30 years before wilder areas of the Province would be settled. Yet in 1886 the history of the Cougar in Ontario came to a sudden stop.

One of those wild areas is less than a 100 miles to the east of Georgian Bay. The wild and vacant townships on the Canadian Shield south of Algonquin Park. These townships were not colonized until almost the turn of the century for obvious reason. It was wild county. Still is. The two significant settlements in this huge region are Bancroft and Barrys Bay, have only 3,000 residents today. Barrys Bay was not incorporated as a village until 1930!

Even as a kid in the 60's it was like the last frontier. This highland region is connected to the Adirondacks via the Frontenac Arch or Axis.

Here's the deal...In these townships where history is recent there have been no cougar attacks on humans or livestock, no cougars shot, no cougars seen.....nothing! There are plenty of wolves. Wolves have always been plentiful. Never close to being extirpated. Same with moose. But no cougars. No sign today or in the past. It is like they were never here. Interesting!

Take away the High Peaks and this region is very much like the Adirondacks in flora, fauna, geology, temperature and precipitation. It is in fact near identical. The Adirondacks make up for being roughly 150 miles to the south by being on average a 1,000 ft. higher in elevation.

From this I have a suspicion that despite cougars being killed in the Adirondacks and bounties put on them and all the historical anecdotes that in fact these were animals that had been driven there as a last refuge. The areas around the ADK's especially to the south and west are very dissimilar in temperature, flora, geology etc.. Coincidentally they very much resemble Creemore Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment.

Therefore re-introducing them to the Adirondacks would that be righting a wrong or precipitating one?
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:35 PM   #91
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Cougars that prey on moose and elk in Alberta are not doing so because they were forced into marginal habitat. At least not by other cougars. Perhaps human pressure. But I doubt that as well. Edmonton gets about 50 cougar sighting a year. Cougar are also numerous in the interior of BC where deer are rare and moose are very common.

Deer were very common on the southern Canadian Shield as reported by Champlain in 1608. His hunting party killed several dozen. No mention was made of moose or cougar. The first persons to see much of the interior of the southern Shield were Royal surveyors just after the Revolutionary War. They mapped all of Southern Ontario off in concessions and left copious notes. One can walk there paths today by the descriptions they left 200 years ago!

They feared bears and wolves....didn't say a thing about cougars.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:17 AM   #92
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Cougar v Bobcat

Good illustration of the difference between a cougar and a bobcat.
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File Type: jpg bobcat-size-mountain-lion_cougar_network.jpg (72.4 KB, 189 views)
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:24 AM   #93
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Another important difference between bobcats & cougars: Bobcats have prominent white spots on the back of their ears. Cougars usually don't have such spots; they are less prominent when they do.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #94
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In Ontario the last cougar shot (it was an attack) was near the village of Creemore on the southern end of Georgian Bay on the Niagara Escarpment. That was in 1886. This is significant why? Because it would not be for another 20-30 years before wilder areas of the Province would be settled. Yet in 1886 the history of the Cougar in Ontario came to a sudden stop.
How smart these people must be to *know* that, "Yes, 127 years ago, on all 350,000 square miles of Ontario wilderness, there was exactly 1 cougar, and after that there were none."
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #95
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Which validates my point. How could cougars possibly be extinct in Ontario? Ontario has the largest population of that other elusive top of the food chain predator...the wolf. Ontario has more wolves than anywhere in the world. My belief is that cougars were absent from the Canadian Shield and restricted to the Niagara Escarpment and Bruce Peninsula. Which leads to more questions since the Adirondacks are part of the Canadian Shield.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:43 PM   #96
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I don't have Brocke's eastern cougar history in front of me, but the cats were largely gone in NY, VT and NH by the 1850s. NY ran a bounty program from 1871 - 1890, when bounties were paid from every one of the ADK counties, mostly in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, all contained within the Frontenac Arc/biosphere. The last cat taken in the state was in Herkimer County in '93-'94, though I saw a note recently at the NY State Museum reporting it was in Blue Mountain (I think) in 1908. I just learned there is a book available from the State Museum: Extant NY State Specimens of the Adirondack Cougar.

I contacted Rick Rosatte, the senior biologist at the Ontario Ministry. He doesn't have a similar record for the province.

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:56 PM   #97
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Since Extant NY State Specimens is only 34 pages long, one of us should ask the NY State Museum for a scanned copy. Shall I?
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:38 PM   #98
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I have a friend who works there. I've asked her for a copy.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:58 PM   #99
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Gulo...great link for the Frontenac Arch. I could use it on the hunting/fishing side to explain why I see wolves on the Arch. Anyone looking at those maps would say....the odd wolf must have wandered into the ADK's too.

There is absolute proof of cougar in the ADK's but why not in adjacent regions of Ontario? Given the vastness of Ontario's wilderness that has....as stated, allowed the largest wolf population in the world to remain intact then there should by logic be a native population of cougar roaming our forests.

Not to be hard headed, just turning over all stones....would it be possible that the last cougars in NY State wound up in the ADK's after being forced out of the Mohawk Valley and other more hospitable areas by human pressure?
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:58 AM   #100
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Again, I think it has more to do with the historical range of deer than with cougars being driven into "marginal" habitat. From SUNY ESF on white-tails:

The range is from southern Canada to Panama except for parts of the western and southwestern U.S. The white-tailed deer was uncommon in the Adirondacks prior to the mid 19th century. Today, this species resides in all terrestrial communities throughout the Adirondack Park, and is generally more numerous in the lowlands of the Park's periphery than in the central Adirondacks, especially the higher elevations (spruce-fir forests, above 2500 ft). The historical change in relative abundance and the current density reflect the availability of preferred habitat: The openings and edges of deciduous and mixed forests, the early successional stages of these forests, brushy fields, and wooded farmlands, together with mature stands of conifers that provide winter shelter. Disturbance (logging, the fires that followed, and finally, the hurricane of 1950) transformed the pristine Adirondack forests, which were less suited for deer, into more favorable habitat.

The primary change increasing the Adirondack deer herd was the conversion of large tracts of mature forest with its poorly developed understory into area of more diverse, low-growing, young vegetation which increased the food supply. Timber harvest on private lands continues to foster the Adirondack deer herd; the maturation of the public forest discourages it.


No cougar bounty records from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, most of Maine, most of Quebec, and perhaps, as you suggest, most of Ontario into the Frontenac: all primarily moose and caribou habitat historically. That's wolf turf, and much of it changed as it was logged, deer moved in, and were even introduced.

As I mentioned previously, cougar habitat tends to overlap with deer habitat - not with the bigger ungulates. As well as targeting cougars with bounties, market hunting of deer pretty much wiped out their prey-base by the end of the 19th century.

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