Cougars Keep Showing Up in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan’s UP

Property owner Jesse Chynoweth submitted this picture to the Michigan DNR for confirmation.

A cougar was spotted in Houghton County, Mich. on Sept. 26.

For years there was great disagreement about the presence of cougars in Michigan, and now one photogenic cat keeps dismissing the naysayers by strutting in front of trail cameras in the Upper Peninsula.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed a radio-collared cougar on Nov. 17 caught on camera in northern Houghton County. They consider it to be the same one caught on camera twice before.

“This is the third time this animal has been captured on trail cameras in the Upper Peninsula,” said Adam Bump in a prepared statement. Bump is a wildlife biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“The Wisconsin DNR earlier verified two trail camera pictures of this cat as it passed through Wisconsin on its way to the UP,” Bump said.

The department also verified a set of cougar tracks in southern Keweenaw County on Nov. 20. The department believes the tracks are from the same cougar that was spotted on camera in Houghton County a week earlier.

Since only western states radio-collar cougars for research, the department is still trying to track down where the cougar is from. So far they’ve checked frequencies from South Dakota, Utah and Montana.

Via: Great Lakes Echo

It’s on the move.

A cougar was caught by a trail camera on Sept. 26 in Houghton County, Mich., and a cougar was spotted by another trail camera in Ontonogan County earlier this month. These sightings, according to Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Adam Bump, are almost certainly of the same cat.

If it is the same cougar that walked past those cameras, then that cat has covered some distance, at least 50 miles from one county to the other.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is still tracking down where exactly the cougar came from, but expects it came from a western state like South Dakota. It traveled through Wisconsin — the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed that it was photographed by two trail cameras in the state — on its way to the Upper Peninsula.

Farewell, cougar friend. See you on the trail.

Via: Great Lakes Echo

For years there were sightings.

Then in 2008, came the tracks.

In 2009, came a photo.

Now, there’s a video – a cougar roaming Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

A trail camera on private property in northwestern Upper Peninsula captured the cougar on Sept. 8.  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources visited the property in Ontonagon County earlier this week and verified the camera’s location.

The cougar had an ear tag and a radio collar.  Only western states tag and collar cougars for research, so Michigan state officials are trying to track down where the big cat came from.

Cougars were native to Michigan but were thought to have no population left at the turn of the 20th century. They are listed as an endangered species in Michigan.  The closest established populations are in North and South Dakota – over 900 miles away.

Citizen sightings in Michigan have remained constant but hard to verify.  There are multiple citizen groups and environmental organizations that compile sightings and encourage the state to recognize its presence (Michigan Citizens for Cougar Recognition, Save the Cougar,Michigan Wildlife Conservancy).

Prior to this video, the Department of Natural Resources verified sets of tracks, a study that found positive scat samples, a photo, and DNA from a hair sample on a car bumper, but did not go so far as to formally acknowledge a population of cougars in the state.

That may be difficult now.

Via: Great Lakes Echo

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