Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A new study suggests cougars are again spreading across the Midwest, a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region.

The findings by a University of Minnesota doctoral student, a Southern Illinois University wildlife ecologist and the Cougar Network are detailed in the latest Journal of Wildlife Management.

The study showed 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest between 1990 and 2008. The animals were spotted as far south as Louisiana and Texas.

Confirmed sightings of Midwest cougars were sporadic before 1990, when there were only a couple. The study shows that number spiked to more than 30 by 2008.

Sixty-seven confirmations were in Nebraska, 31 in North Dakota, 12 each in Oklahoma and Texas, 11 in South Dakota and 10 in Missouri. Other states had single-digit tallies.

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  • by Jim Location: Radisson on Jun 15, 2012 at 08:09 PM
    The Wisconsin DNR has a limited budget, limited time, and many important obligations already on its plate before it comes to tracking down Cougars that a small percentage of the Wisconsin populous believes to be more dangerous than what data from other states prove they are.
  • by Sam Location: Eau Claire on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM
    A lot of people are asking why the DNR denies there is a Courgar population in WI. It is because once they agree we have them then they need to spend money monitoring them. So, if they deny it is, then they dont have to spend money on them. A DNR employee (friend) explained this to me about 2 years ago when this started.
  • by Really? on Jun 15, 2012 at 09:56 AM
    Really? No kidding! There are several cougars living within 15 miles of me. Yes, living there and not passing through. They have been seen multiple times by numerous people in the same areas for the last few years. The DNR denies there are any living in WI but, there have been to many sitings of the same one in the same areas for that to be believable!
  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Jun 15, 2012 at 06:10 AM
    There's a 'cougar network?'
  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Jun 15, 2012 at 06:10 AM
    There's a 'cougar network?'
  • by Tom Location: ec on Jun 14, 2012 at 09:21 PM
    cougars are smart- they don't want to live in WI- too high of taxes
    • reply
      by Ralph on Jun 15, 2012 at 04:57 AM in reply to Tom
      They're Republican Cougars, they don't pay taxes.
  • by VulgarDisplayofPower Location: EC on Jun 14, 2012 at 08:58 PM
    I gun hunt up West of Trego by Webb Lake. Last October we were walking to our stands to get them set up and there were 2 cougars together. They saw us and both went running in opposite directions.
  • by VulgarDisplayofPower Location: EC on Jun 14, 2012 at 08:54 PM
    I have been seeing a lot of cougars at Target. There are more than the DNR are reporting!
    • reply
      by anon on Jun 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM in reply to VulgarDisplayofPower
      Careful! Those Target cougars are more dangerous than the wild ones!
  • by Matt on Jun 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM
    The DNR has been witnessed releasing them. They are the ones who have reintroduced them in Wisconsin. Sure, there are some that migrated here as Cougars are roamers, but the DNR is the culprit, even though they deny, deny, deny it. Cougars attacked a friend's horse, and the DNR tried to blame it on the horse scratching itself on a fence. HAHA, give me a break. They will probably deny that this news story exists too!
    • reply
      by Jim on Jun 15, 2012 at 08:17 PM in reply to Matt
      The DNR is a Wisconsin State agency that is subject to Open Record Requests under Wisconsin Law. If you send a request they will tell you, and if they deny as you say they, where is the source to your assertion coming from?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2012 at 08:34 PM in reply to Matt
      The DNR has never released or been witnessed releasing them. Stop and think for a minute how ridiculous that statement truly is. Sounds like something that gets started on a bar stool...
  • by Anonymous on Jun 14, 2012 at 03:21 PM
    there is a cougar in Chippewa zoo
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