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Old 12-13-2011, 08:48 PM   #21
gulo
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What isn't feasible?

Depending on who you talk to, there's between 60,000 - 100,000 whitetails in the Daks. 100 cougars would take 4,000 deer a year - barely a dent in the population.

The shaded areas show occupied cougar habitat in California (2/3 of the state), which supports about 5,000 cats (including the exurbs of every metropolitan area), the same area and human population as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia combined.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/images/lion_map.png

East LA

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=4673

Northwest LA

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=4673

Bay Area

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=3824

Cougars are as adaptable as coyotes; smaller and stealthier than black bears (where NJ now has one of the densest populations in North America).

If NJ can support black bears, if the entire peninsula of Italy can support wolves, if CA can support 5,000 cougars, then why isn't almost all of NY State, which has a higher deer-density and way more cover than CA, feasible habitat for cougars?

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #22
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In an earlier post I said I found it hard to believe given its size and remoteness that the cougar was extrapolated from Eastern Canada. I had a look why and discovered the cougar was mostly absent from the Canadian Shield. Human population densities and settlement in Eastern Canada away from the Shield mirror neighboring states so it is understandable why the last known cougar in Ontario was said to killed 100 years ago.

The geology, temperature, seasonal profiles and pre-European flora, fauna (even Aboriginal groups and population ) of most of the ADK's is near identical to the Canadian Shield 200-300 miles to the north. Maybe any cougars introduced would simply head to the neighboring Catskills and Alleghenies like there predecessors where the living is easier.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:30 PM   #23
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They'd probably kill a lot of coyotes (would that offset deer consumption by coy). Im not opposed to trying to bring them back but realize this it is inevitable that a human will get killed. I'm ok with that but many people are not. When making the decision to create a population of 100 or 1000 cougars you must be 100% ok with that. Some of you will be but it will give a lot of powder to the anti argument.

My next question is what type of deer would the cougar eat. My own opinion is that coyote eat the weak and the young (that may also be slow or weak) and that isn't necesserily bad for the population but would cougar take whatever it wants instead of sort of this weeding out type of predation that a non-apex predator that is filling that role typically does.

I would worry more about the effects on grouse than deer.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:47 PM   #24
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They'd probably kill a lot of coyotes (would that offset deer consumption by coy).

My own opinion is that coyote eat the weak and the young (that may also be slow or weak)

I would worry more about the effects on grouse than deer.
Cougars killing coyotes, that is a slant I haven't heard before!

Culling the herd...... When CWD rears its ugly head we will be breeding predators to help retard the demise of the herd.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:57 PM   #25
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They'd probably kill a lot of coyotes (would that offset deer consumption by coy). Im not opposed to trying to bring them back but realize this it is inevitable that a human will get killed. I'm ok with that but many people are not. When making the decision to create a population of 100 or 1000 cougars you must be 100% ok with that. Some of you will be but it will give a lot of powder to the anti argument.

My next question is what type of deer would the cougar eat. My own opinion is that coyote eat the weak and the young (that may also be slow or weak) and that isn't necesserily bad for the population but would cougar take whatever it wants instead of sort of this weeding out type of predation that a non-apex predator that is filling that role typically does.

I would worry more about the effects on grouse than deer.
When is the last time anyone heard of a human killed by a cougar/Puma/Mountain lion/catamount?

And how many humans have been attacked in the last 111 years?

The Black Hills of South Dakota has a very high Cougar to human ration and there are hardly ever any "incidents"
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:34 AM   #26
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You can't equate the black hills to the Daks. The reason the ratio is so high is that there are very few people there. Granted mountain lion attacks are as common as great white attacks (or insert some other apex predator, wolves?) but they certainly are capable of killing people and they certainly do. Google the list there was one last year. I understand the desire to reintroduce them but let's not pretend they are harmless. Im not saying they are rabid human killers like the ferocious north jersey black bear, by any stretch, but it happens. You may think its an acceptable risk to having them back but others would disagree.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:29 AM   #27
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You can't equate the black hills to the Daks. The reason the ratio is so high is that there are very few people there. Granted mountain lion attacks are as common as great white attacks (or insert some other apex predator, wolves?) but they certainly are capable of killing people and they certainly do. Google the list there was one last year. I understand the desire to reintroduce them but let's not pretend they are harmless. Im not saying they are rabid human killers like the ferocious north jersey black bear, by any stretch, but it happens. You may think its an acceptable risk to having them back but others would disagree.
Actually there are a lot more people in the Black Hills area then there are in the Adirondacks. It's a very popular tourist area with all the attractions including Rushmore, Custer State park, Harney peak, Sylvan Lake, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave and the whole cluster of tourist trap towns. I beleive that the Black hills has the highest cougar to human ration in the US. Perhaps Gulo or Eastern Puma could verify the accuracy of that statement.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:47 AM   #28
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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.
I don't think any special measures would be put in place, and I doubt I would change my trip planning and hiking in any way until something happened and HAWK wrote a sticky about how to prepare/respond to lions in the park.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:48 AM   #29
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I could've predicted your response verbatum, scary.

Which do you think is more likely (assuming Cougars in both locations), a cougar attack at the sturgis motorcycle festival in a town or on solo hikers along the NPT trail.

There are many more people that use the Adirondack park than the Black Hills. The nature of the use is very, very different. In the Black Hills people congregate at specific locations like Rushmore, whereas in the Daks the usage leans more to hiking / outdoors in small groups. Yes that happens in the Black Hills as well but that is not the primary attraction of tourists in the area. You said so yourself: tourist trap towns.

I know why you picked the Black Hills to start your argument, but there are other areas where there have been problems with the mountain lion populations such as California and Vancouver. It may be that the Black Hills are a better environment for that type of animal and the type of human activities being done than in say California.

I would definately agree with the argument that mountain lions do not perceive Humans (or livestock) as prey and attacks are extremely rare and a proactive management policy would even reduce the very rare incidents. I.E. sick or young lions being monitored. However, because it's working well in the Black Hills does not mean it will work as well in the Daks.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #30
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I beleive that the Black hills has the highest cougar to human ration in the US.
Can't recall seeing the ratio broken down this way, but it's certainly up there - for the time being (92 adult cats were killed this year in the Black Hills, p. 15 http://www.easterncougar.org/newltr_...fnew_May11.pdf).

Once SD is done with its 5-year cougar management plan, coupled with Wyoming deliberately creating a sink on their side of the border, cougars may be virtually exterminated from the Black Hills by 2015.

ADK violent crime incidents, for perspective; note that California has the lowest ratio of incidents - what a stable cougar population will do, patrol itself, without hunting

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=4478

Black bears vs cougars

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=4945

Most definitive analysis of cougar incidents to date; after spiking twice in the 90s, note that incidents have gone down in the last ten years

http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?p=4884

Most recent death by cougar in the US/Canada

http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/publ...altoslion.html

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Old 12-15-2011, 10:09 AM   #31
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I don't see the issue of how many people live in the Black Hills vs the ADK's but rather how many live and what is beyond those areas. You cannot compare the western Dakota's, Wyoming and Montana to New York State.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:34 AM   #32
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Being a honest hypocrite: I would love to see the apex predators reintroduced and would feel little fear, plenty of respect but little fear. If however I saw one creeping around where my grandchildren were playing I would blow it away. I know you can't have it both ways but "some people call me a dreamer and I'm not the only one"
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:40 AM   #33
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I could've predicted your response verbatum, scary.

Which do you think is more likely (assuming Cougars in both locations), a cougar attack at the sturgis motorcycle festival in a town or on solo hikers along the NPT trail.

There are many more people that use the Adirondack park than the Black Hills. The nature of the use is very, very different. In the Black Hills people congregate at specific locations like Rushmore, whereas in the Daks the usage leans more to hiking / outdoors in small groups. Yes that happens in the Black Hills as well but that is not the primary attraction of tourists in the area. You said so yourself: tourist trap towns.

I know why you picked the Black Hills to start your argument, but there are other areas where there have been problems with the mountain lion populations such as California and Vancouver. It may be that the Black Hills are a better environment for that type of animal and the type of human activities being done than in say California.

I would definately agree with the argument that mountain lions do not perceive Humans (or livestock) as prey and attacks are extremely rare and a proactive management policy would even reduce the very rare incidents. I.E. sick or young lions being monitored. However, because it's working well in the Black Hills does not mean it will work as well in the Daks.

You should check out the facts before you jump in wuth a conclusion. The Black hills is a very popular hiking, camping and backpacking area. Harney Peak alone gets more daily traffic then all of the high peaks. There are a number of trails and also a lot of hiking in the less populous area of the Black Hills in Wyoming including the area around the Devils tower.

I know because I have hiked extensively in South Dakota, as a child, a teen and an adult.

And yes, my response is predictable, every time someone states the danger of the Apex predators to humans I merely ask for the numbers, which are extremely low compared to deaths from any other form of outdoor recreation. Hunting has the highest fatality rate from accidental shootings and there are far more deaths from snowmobile and ATV accidents as well as rock climbing and yes, backpacking. In addition, people are far more likely to be attacked by a coyote, a dog, another human or a rabid raccoon or skunk then by a wolf, cougar or bear.

So, I like to keep things in perspective because all too often judgement of Apex predators is based on ignorance and fear then on the actual facts.

So, In the everending search for the truth, based on history and fact I will always ask, how many humans have been killed. More often then not it's not more then one every ten years or so, which is a fact that has to be considered in the argument.

So you undesrtand exactly where I stand on this issue of reintroduction, I would love to see the predators return to the areas they used to inhabit, at least the areas that are still left. However, I am really not keen on the introduction because of the highly likely fatalities that would be perpetrated by the most prolific apex predator on earth, humans. So I oppose the reintroduction because of the danger to the animal, not to humans.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:50 AM   #34
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I don't see the issue of how many people live in the Black Hills vs the ADK's but rather how many live and what is beyond those areas. You cannot compare the western Dakota's, Wyoming and Montana to New York State.
The Paha Sapa (Black hills) are not in the Western Dakota's or Montana. They are located in Western SOUTH DAKOTA an western Wyoming.

And my "comparison" is the ratio of humans to Cougars. IF (and that is what we are discussing here) there were Cougars in the Adirondacks the density of the humans to cats would in all probability (unless there was a real horny breeding population of cougars) would be much less then in the Black Hills. So my argument is that since there are very few incidents between humans and cougars in the Black Hills there would be even less of a chance here.

As far as the habitat, the Adirondacks and the Catskills are both good habitat for the cats. Also with ample natural prey there is less liklihood of a cat attacking a human.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:41 PM   #35
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That's an interesting way to keep things in perspective. There are 700,000 hunters in New York State alone, how many fatalities? Of those fatalities how many were people not participating in the act of hunting such as mountain biking or hiking? People practicing unsafe hunting practices and causing accidents are generally viewed differently in the public than someone getting killed by a wild animal. At least I do.

Using your twisted way of keeping things in perspective, if cougar populations mimic'd hunter populations there would be close to 1,000 human fatalities in New York State alone every year. Do you see how doing that in reverse doesn't make sense? Of course things that are more common lead to more instances of occurence, that's not keeping things in perspective that's called manipulation.

Here are the Adirondack facts, I'm sure things have changed since you were a boy but I would love to see your "facts" about the high density human population of southern South Dakota and surrounding area.

7-10 Million people visit the Adirondacks every year
130,000 year round residents and 200,000 seasonal.
60 Million people live within a days drive of the Adirondacks.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:18 PM   #36
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The Paha Sapa (Black hills) are not in the Western Dakota's or Montana. They are located in Western SOUTH DAKOTA an western Wyoming.

And my "comparison" is the ratio of humans to Cougars. IF (and that is what we are discussing here) there were Cougars in the Adirondacks the density of the humans to cats would in all probability (unless there was a real horny breeding population of cougars) would be much less then in the Black Hills. So my argument is that since there are very few incidents between humans and cougars in the Black Hills there would be even less of a chance here.

As far as the habitat, the Adirondacks and the Catskills are both good habitat for the cats. Also with ample natural prey there is less liklihood of a cat attacking a human.
I know the Black Hills are located in western South Dakota. Please re-read my message. Since a cougar does not know where the Black Hills or Adirondack Mts. begin and end you have to look at the greater region. In this case Western North Dakota, Eastern Wyoming, Montana and even Northwest Nebraska.

Population densities might matter if you could keep the cougars confined to the Adirondacks but you can't.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:05 PM   #37
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Population densities might matter if you could keep the cougars confined to the Adirondacks but you can't.
Why would you? They're at carrying capacity in California, the western state with the highest human density, the highest population of cougars, and the lowest ratio of cougar conflicts. Or look at Florida where the cats are hemmed in by Miami to the east, Naples to the west, and greater Orlando to the north - no human incidents.

Density doesn't equate to conflicts; hunting pressure and poor management does. Read Mattson et als report. Vancouver Island has by far the highest incidence of conflicts, where the hunting pressure has pounded the cats for decades.

Cougars could make it in Westchester.

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Old 12-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #38
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They hunt them in the Black Hills and there is very little instance of conflict. I read a really interesting piece regarding the subject, perhaps the confines of the island have forced the cougars to adapt in terms of the human conflict.

Maybe like a Tsavo lion deal whatever they normally eat is gone.

The ratio thing is interesting because if you look at it based on human density california is low but if you look at it in terms of cougar density california is higher than other places, like the Black Hills.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #39
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That's an interesting way to keep things in perspective. There are 700,000 hunters in New York State alone, how many fatalities? Of those fatalities how many were people not participating in the act of hunting such as mountain biking or hiking? People practicing unsafe hunting practices and causing accidents are generally viewed differently in the public than someone getting killed by a wild animal. At least I do.

Using your twisted way of keeping things in perspective, if cougar populations mimic'd hunter populations there would be close to 1,000 human fatalities in New York State alone every year. Do you see how doing that in reverse doesn't make sense? Of course things that are more common lead to more instances of occurence, that's not keeping things in perspective that's called manipulation.

Here are the Adirondack facts, I'm sure things have changed since you were a boy but I would love to see your "facts" about the high density human population of southern South Dakota and surrounding area.

7-10 Million people visit the Adirondacks every year
130,000 year round residents and 200,000 seasonal.
60 Million people live within a days drive of the Adirondacks.
Actually your thinking is a little skewed. the cougar kills for food, not for sport. So to assume that if there were the same numbers of Cougars as hunters (which of course, nature would prevent) that there would be as many fatalities is baseless. Not indicting hunters here, just pointing out the differences.

On the flip side, just for arguments sake, since the solution to the predators when they seem to be getting too large in numbers (or prey for that matter) is to "cull" the population, then if other species, humans for instance are engaged in activities in such numbers that a lot of fatalities occur, then should the hunting be curtailed in some way?

You see where I am going with this? "Logic" gets implied in one case to justify human behavior, but on the other hand the logic doesn't apply when it is the humans who are he cause.

So, we should not have apex predators because they might cause a human fatality. BUT nothing needs to be done when humans are causing a lot of fatalities.

HMMM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:08 PM   #40
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I know the Black Hills are located in western South Dakota. Please re-read my message. Since a cougar does not know where the Black Hills or Adirondack Mts. begin and end you have to look at the greater region. In this case Western North Dakota, Eastern Wyoming, Montana and even Northwest Nebraska.

Population densities might matter if you could keep the cougars confined to the Adirondacks but you can't.
The Black hills of South Dakota and SW Wyoming have the highest ratio of Cougars to humans. North Dakota, the rest of Wyoming and Montana do not.

What I am talking about and the only real point that I am trying to make is that with that high density there are very few sightings by humans, forget about "incidents". So my point is that there is no reason to believe that if there were Cougars in the Adirondack that they would be a big threat to humans.
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