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Old 01-20-2013, 09:45 AM   #21
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A couple of factos/typos, but otherwise the best coverage on the study to date.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #22
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I have read that cougar and/or wolves would put a seriuos dent into coyote and even black bear populations if re-intoduced into an area. Some studies show that coyote populatins drop by 75% when wolves are introduced. Maybe this can help provide enough game (deer, rabbit, turkey etc..) for cougars or wolves given the decrease in coyote populations. In addition, maybe human hunting can be curtailed in JUST A FEW of the wilderness areas where the cougars are introduced, therefore, providing more game.

One worry I have is what cougar re-introduction would do to an already thin population of Moose in the DAKs. Not sure how about 200 cougars would impact the younger Moose born every year. Although, I'm sure bears kill a number of young Moose every year anyway.

If re-introduced to the DAKs the cougar or wolf could become an immediate celebrity of the North Country (If people can conquer the fear and prejudice against these animals). Their presence can be a bit of a plus to the economy of the area.

Introduction of these animals would fine with me, however, I would be inclined to agree with what ever the science community thinks is best.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:49 PM   #23
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I'll ask a question I don't know the answer to. Did the moose population fare well in the Adirondacks before man disrupted the natural balance of its habitat?

Instinct tells me they did.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:29 PM   #24
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Unfortunatley, we must consider the human impact to all life in the DAKs. Towns, centers of human population, in the ADKs are situated in areas that are natural areas for animals to flourish (this happened a long time ago). They are in more low land areas, areas near steady bodies of water, less rugged areas, etc.. This fact preasures the animals slightly more even though the DAKs are fairly sparsley populated with people. Animals are more inclined, especially in winter, to gravitate towards these areas. The animals are hunted more in these areas, although, human settlement does seem to help deer populations sometimes due to the clearing of the land, providing grass/shrubs to eat, etc.. So its kind of a trade off. But Moose, cougar, wolf need these areas to live and hunt. People would really have to change their views to have Moose, cougar & wolf running through their back yards. I for one would have no problem with it but many ADK residents might.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:44 AM   #25
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In addition to my last post that people, ADK residents, would have to be on board with predator re-introduction.

I would like to state again that predator re-introduction program could enhance the economics of the 6 million acre ADK area. And if we don't want the tax payer to flip the bill for the program it can be initiated with private donations. The economics of the ADKs are now based on developement, logging, tourism, etc.. We can enhance the tourism idea. We only have to look at Vermont, which is the same size as the DAKs. Obviuosly, Vermont has more ski areas which is an advantage but the DAKs have much more public wilderness. The DAks have the potential to become a world class "out door person" attraction. Being so close to populated areas (within a few hours).

There are many ways to accomplish the above and I won't get into them all, however, here are some.

Set aside a relatively small area within the wilderness area system we already have, designated by scientists, as no hunting areas. This can provide safe haven for animals needed by the predators for food. For example, perhaps areas from within the High peaks and southwest through the Blue Ridge Wilderness, West Canada Lakes Wilderness and Five Ponds Wilderness.

How is this for hunting? I think it would not impact hunting for sportsmen and locals much at all. Most locals take their deer from near the town areas. Also, this "corridor" (of no hunting Wilderness area land) would only include a few hundred thousand acres of designated Wilderness land. This is a minority amount of the total public land in the DAKs which it is now legal to hunt. Right now there is almost 3 million acres of public hunting land in the Park not to mention all the hunting that occurs on private land. This would not only create a safe haven for game, for predators (wolf/cougar), but also areas where non hunting out door enthusiasts can access during hunting season without the worry of bumping into hunters. Alaska has these type on non-hunting areas within its parks and it works economically.

In addition, we can enhance the Gore mountain Ski area by expanding the mountain and allowing the town, North Creek, to develope (within close proximity to the town center and the ski mountain, say a mile radius). This can also be done in the area of Old Forge, for example. As a TRADE-OFF to the developement, a REASONABLE amount of private land could be turned into public wild forest/wilderness areas (to satisfy the environmentalists) to provide more protected land.

Private and State entities would have to work together on an idea/project like this. But, if we can be reasonable (a word it seems has lost value in this day and age) an idea like this can be environmentally and economically beneficial to the ADK region. To me it is a win win concept.

I apologize for my grammar I am not by trade a writer

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Old 01-26-2013, 09:40 AM   #26
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Dr. John Laundre taped for Green Scene this morning at 11 AM Eastern - http://www.wvcr.com/showdj.asp?DJID=44900. Presumably he'll be talking about the potential for reintroducing cougars to the Adirondacks.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:23 AM   #27
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Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.Im an avid deer hunter and dont want to see either wolves or lions reintroduced.The deer herd just cant handle more big predators.The deer per sq. mile here is very low here already.They played god out west reintroducing wolves and bye bye elk herd.My opinion.
I suppose destroying the wolf, Grizzly, Salmon, etc...population, out west by humans, is not playing God. God never said anything about driving animals to extinction. Now, I am willing to see both sides of a discussion, however, saying that we must be rid of an animal like the wolf so humans can have more deer/Moose to slaughter is just silly. I love hunting but to me the woods have much more value if they have a balance of nature. Many times I think many of my hunting friends would like hunting to be more like target practice than actual hunting. There needs to be honor in the way we hunt.

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:35 PM   #28
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Before settlement of NY state there would have been many more cougar outside the present Park than inside. I believe the only cougar in the Park were around the perimeter but by the 1800's the last of NY's cougars were pushed inside the Park's core by human forces and changes in prey species.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:40 PM   #29
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If introduced to the ADKs , will cougars gravitate to the outskirts/out of the park or be inclined to stay in the park? I'm not qualified to answer that question. But maybe a cougar expert can. I can see an argument both ways on this. One thing I know is the ADK park area is a different place than it was over 100 years ago. I would venture to guess that there is more game in the park now than there was is the late 1800s, therefore, keeping the cougars in the park being that they will have something to eat. And that cougars do adapt well to areas with high mountains. There is plenty of game in the park for cougars: deer, rabbit, grouse, beaver, coyote, variuos rodents, turkey, etc...I think many will stay in the park over the long term. The ones that leave the park boarders can be fair game for hunters? I still think the biggest problem will be if people will accept the cougar as a resident of Northern NY State.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:25 PM   #30
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Cougar

I find it to be an interesting debate and one with many pros and cons. I am surprised that they have not successfully reintroduced themselves into the park over time, in larger numbers anyway, as the Moose have done by entering the state from western Vermont through the land corridor south of Lake George. I remember when NYS attempted to reintroduce around 100 Lynx (caught and sedated and brought down from Canada) in the early 1990's. They were tagged and monitored and quickly perished. Most were hit by cars and one was even shot in New Hampshire.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #31
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Another way to look at it is that the big predators can't afford any more humans.

As far as your opinion goes, you're entitled to it. But before you form one, get the facts straight. Especially the "bye, bye, elk herd". Other then the old argument that "the predators will destroy the elk herds" in the places where they (The predators) have been reintroduced, there is no proof to that statement. In fact the herds are healthier from what I've heard from park rangers and others who are familiar with those sorts of things.

Out of curiosity, If "The deer herds could not survive the big predators", would it not be prudent to prohibit the main modern day predators (humans) from hunting them?

Nothing wrong with "playing God" if they are returning things to the state that God created.

That's just my opinion.
The problem is that humans have been "playing God" in the Adirondacks for about two centuries and the evidence suggests we haven't been too good at it. Witness the number of fish species introduced that will now be here forever, all to the detriment of the original inhabitants.

What happens if lions are introduced into today's Adirondacks? Nobody knows. I'm pretty sure it will disrupt some human activities (like hunting) and possibly enhance others (like lion tracking). This debate does raise the ethical question of whether it's good or bad (and for whom) for the complete environment over the long term.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:51 PM   #32
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The problem is that humans have been "playing God" in the Adirondacks for about two centuries and the evidence suggests we haven't been too good at it. Witness the number of fish species introduced that will now be here forever, all to the detriment of the original inhabitants.

What happens if lions are introduced into today's Adirondacks? Nobody knows. I'm pretty sure it will disrupt some human activities (like hunting) and possibly enhance others (like lion tracking). This debate does raise the ethical question of whether it's good or bad (and for whom) for the complete environment over the long term.
Yep....the problem seems to be that human interaction has caused the problem in the first place, so what makes anyone think human interaction can fix it? The system is so out of stasis as it is that it's almost impossible to know what 'normal' or 'natural' actually looks like.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:34 AM   #33
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If the Linx could not make it in the ADKs can the cougar?

What went wrong with the Linx in the 1990s? It still seems to be a mystery. Did they all get hit by cars? Where they killed by trappers who were hunting Bobcat? Where they pushed out by large Coyote and Bobcat populations? I am curious to know the real reason.

From what I know Linx seem to be more picky about their environment. Their diet is not as varied as other carnivores. Their inability to get a foot-hold in the DAKs is probably a reflection on some lack of sufficient biodiversity in upstate NY. One way to study the biodiversity issue in the ADKs would be to create a zone, of a few hundred thouand acres, of no hunting or trapping.

The cougar and wolf seem much more able to adapt as long as they are not killed by people. I believe one can't compare Linx reintroduction with Cougar/Wolf reintroduction. If people refrain from killing them (Cougar, Wolf or even Linx) or too much of their prey, then they will survive. Simple, eh?
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:40 PM   #34
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If the Linx could not make it in the ADKs can the cougar?

What went wrong with the Linx in the 1990s? It still seems to be a mystery. Did they all get hit by cars? Where they killed by trappers who were hunting Bobcat? Where they pushed out by large Coyote and Bobcat populations? I am curious to know the real reason.

From what I know Linx seem to be more picky about their environment. Their diet is not as varied as other carnivores. Their inability to get a foot-hold in the DAKs is probably a reflection on some lack of sufficient biodiversity in upstate NY. One way to study the biodiversity issue in the ADKs would be to create a zone, of a few hundred thouand acres, of no hunting or trapping.

The cougar and wolf seem much more able to adapt as long as they are not killed by people. I believe one can't compare Linx reintroduction with Cougar/Wolf reintroduction. If people refrain from killing them (Cougar, Wolf or even Linx) or too much of their prey, then they will survive. Simple, eh?
From what I read, they poorly chose the reintroduction site that did not have a large enough population of snowshoe hare that they feed on, and which is also a primary food source for the Bobcat. It was generally considered a disaster. The DEC additionally set these carpet like pads on trees in the area with some sort of bait that typically attracts Lynx which then rub their faces against the carpet leaving hair. They all came up negative indicating they had left the area. They were found dead all over the place, one even back up in Canada.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:22 AM   #35
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As I recall, another problem with the lynx reintroduction is that they were "hard released," that is, the cats were taken directly from where they were captured and let loose in the Adirondacks. These days, we know that "soft releases" generally work better. The animals to be introduced are kept in large pens in the release area for weeks, so that they'll come to feel that the new area is "home." Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone NP in this manner. When animals are hard released, they tend to try to go back home to where they were captured. Most, if not all, will die trying.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:39 AM   #36
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As I recall, another problem with the lynx reintroduction is that they were "hard released," that is, the cats were taken directly from where they were captured and let loose in the Adirondacks. These days, we know that "soft releases" generally work better. The animals to be introduced are kept in large pens in the release area for weeks, so that they'll come to feel that the new area is "home." Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone NP in this manner. When animals are hard released, they tend to try to go back home to where they were captured. Most, if not all, will die trying.
That is very interesting, I had not heard of that before.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:55 PM   #37
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If introduced properly to the ADKs Cougars would survive, if left alone by people. This idea is supported by the fact that there is a contiuous population of the animals in the western parts of the country. Many of the Cougars out west are in areas more populated than the ADKs (as stated by the professor's article).

As far as safety for people, one has a much better chance of being struck by lightning or killed by a domestic dog than being killed by a cougar (even in areas where people and Cougars share the land). We have a few thousand black Bears in Norhtern NY and I don't know of any confirmed attacks by Bears in the last 100 years. Given that black Bears on average are about twice the size of Cougars and very powerful, I don't see how a couple of hundred cougars will make the DAKs a "dangerous" place.

Given that cougars were extirpated from the North East about 100 years ago they can inhabit the area again given that, over the last million years, nature naturally selected cougars to live in upstate NY.


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Old 02-17-2013, 12:59 AM   #38
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But bears are omnivores and when they do eat meat its usually carrion or something easy like a fawn. Cougars feed on human sized prey exclusively. Leave them alone and see if they come back on there own. It was good that wolves were introduced into Yellowstone but left alone and protected wolves they have naturally come down from Canada along the Cascades almost to California. In the east the wolf has evolved into the coywolf a more adaptable animal, the Fisher has re-populated its former range. The moose is returning. Stop playing God and let nature find its own balance.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:02 AM   #39
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But bears are omnivores and when they do eat meat its usually carrion or something easy like a fawn. Cougars feed on human sized prey exclusively. Leave them alone and see if they come back on there own. It was good that wolves were introduced into Yellowstone but left alone and protected wolves they have naturally come down from Canada along the Cascades almost to California. In the east the wolf has evolved into the coywolf a more adaptable animal, the Fisher has re-populated its former range. The moose is returning. Stop playing God and let nature find its own balance.
Therein lies a major part of the debate......although unlikely, there are cougar attacks occasionally in the United States. I remember a case a couple of years ago in CA when some people mountain biking were attacked and killed. I think it would be great in part to illustrate nature taking care of itself and healing over time if they came back on their own, but I would imagine they could always pose some danger even if only a very remote possibility.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #40
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Therein lies a major part of the debate......although unlikely, there are cougar attacks occasionally in the United States. I remember a case a couple of years ago in CA when some people mountain biking were attacked and killed. I think it would be great in part to illustrate nature taking care of itself and healing over time if they came back on their own, but I would imagine they could always pose some danger even if only a very remote possibility.
Cougars pose a lot less danger then more development. The more people = the more violence. So, if decisions are going to be made based on the danger they cause, perhaps we need to limit the amount of 2 legged predators rather then he amount of four legged predators.
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