Mountain Lions In Upstate New York


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BigN
August 23, 2011, 05:16 PM
For years we've had sightings of mountain lions here in this state and for years the DEC says no. Photographs and eyewitness accounts submitted/reported to the DEC have been poopooed or written off as forgeries. Recently there was a spotting of a mountain lion in Canton, NY. The official statement from the DEC was "There can't be any lions in NY since you've never see one dead in the road from a car hit." Um, hello??? Ever seen a dead moose in the road? Ever seen a dead bear in the road? Everyone knows this state is teeming with black bears and moose and yet there are none dead in the road. Imagine that. Believe it or not, government incompetence/coverups/call it what you will, exists in high fashion in this state (too.)

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JohnD13
August 23, 2011, 05:21 PM
If I had only hit the gas instead of the brake I could have shown DEC a dead mountain lion in the road! But it may have turned into a bobcat by the time they got to it! There were no eagles on the Hudson until recently either! Just really big starlings!

wombat13
August 23, 2011, 07:02 PM
They said the same thing in Connecticut until a mountain lion was hit by a car. Then they had to admit the sightings were the real deal.

CTPhil
August 23, 2011, 08:40 PM
They said the same thing in Connecticut until a mountain lion was hit by a car. Then they had to admit the sightings were the real deal.
But they still won't admit that they may actually live here.

jimmyraythomason
August 23, 2011, 08:54 PM
they still won't admit that they may actually live here.
Yeah same thing here in Alabama. Sightings of mountain lions have increased greatly over the past 10 years. There was even a dead cat in the median of the state highway just a few miles from me,apparently picked up by the state(or possibly the county). Most folks here have stopped making reports as all they are rewarded with is ridicule and who needs that? I personally have seen 3 of the big cats as well as countless tracks during my trapping days.

todayshighlights
August 24, 2011, 10:59 AM
Same in Western Mass. Sightings for years, but Fish and Game can't officially recognize the facts. I'm told that if they actually come out and say that the species is present, they have to create plans to manage the Mountain Lion's population, plus their prey and predators plans need to be adjusted accordingly.

Art Eatman
August 24, 2011, 11:02 AM
Managing would be a piece of cake. Just declare the poo-tat a game animal and close the season. They can say, "We'll open the season when there are enough to hunt." And then they can go back to sleep.

todayshighlights
August 24, 2011, 12:22 PM
Managing would be a piece of cake. Just declare the poo-tat a game animal and close the season. They can say, "We'll open the season when there are enough to hunt." And then they can go back to sleep.

This is Massachusetts. Nothing is that easy.

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 12:41 PM
There aren't any breeding populations in the east. A few mountain lions have shown up in various places like Kentucky and always turn out to be released or escaped exotic pets upon DNA examination. DNA will reveal the population from which the cat descended, and some of those populations are heavily represented in the exotic pet and zoo populations.

The most recent cat was actually tracked with DNA from scat, hairs and then the body across a number of states from the Dakotas to the place of its demise. That was a lone male with a traveling bug.

So, think about it. If one lone male can be tracked with photos and DNA tests across multiple states, then a breeding population somewhere in the east would be well known. You wouldn't have an occasional fleeting sighting in the headlights of a car, you'd have multiple unquestioned photos from a variety of sources. This is what happened with the lone Dakota male who showed up on photos and game trail cameras from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, etc. Scat and hairs were picked up in each of those states verifying the same individual animal.

jimmyraythomason
August 24, 2011, 03:23 PM
Scat and hairs were picked up in each of those states verifying the same individual animal.Hmmm...so the 3 big cats I saw in 2 different Alabama counties some 50 miles apart spanning a 20 year time period were all the same cat? Was I following him around or was he following me? Makes sense to some folks I guess.

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 03:44 PM
Alabama has plenty enough game and country to support a few cats, but is far too crowded to support an unknown population of cats. If the cats were present in sustainable numbers then you'd have countless pix and documentation of them.

You may very well have seen mountain lions. There are cats in Florida and it's well established that young male cats will often trek hundreds of miles (over 1500 miles in this recent case) trying to establish a territory. Unfortunately, female cats don't do the same. Young females only move relatively short distances, so actual breeding populations spread slowly.

This cat recently killed in Connecticut was recorded throughout its journey east, in far more sparsely populated areas than Alabama. It makes a good case study for this whole myth about the eastern cougar. If this one cat was photographed and DNA sampled across the country, then any extant populations would be ID'd right down to individual animals as well.

http://www.globalanimal.org/2011/07/31/mountain-lion-travels-halfway-across-america/46789/

jimmyraythomason
August 24, 2011, 03:58 PM
While these sightings may only be of traveling males is a possibility. I don't for one second believe all these sighting are of the SAME travelling male. Too many over too large an area. You most likely are right about breeding populations but the state and local DNR deny the existence of ANY and ALL cougars here even mocking the reports as "mistaken identity".

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 04:22 PM
I don't for one second believe all these sighting are of the SAME travelling male. Too many over too large an area.

Yeah, I'm sure you're right. And I don't doubt your sighting at all since most hunters surely can tell a bobcat from a cougar. But... like flying saucers and Bigfoot, most sightings probably are mistaken identity. I used to belong to a forum about crypto and out-of-place (OOP) animals, but after seeing hundreds of pictures of house cats and bobcats and lynx ID'd as everything from "giant black cats" to jaguars to cougars it all got rather old and boring. You have to remember that most of these sightings and pictures don't come from hunters or experienced outdoorsmen, they come from people who know nothing about the subject. Their talk creates so much "buzz" that you'd think these things were everywhere.

When you get right down to the actual evidence, there isn't much at all. 99% of the pictures are obviously mistaken identity. What remains is easily attributed the "traveling male" phenomena.

jimmyraythomason
August 24, 2011, 05:02 PM
I used to belong to a forum about crypto and out-of-place (OOP) animals, but after seeing hundreds of pictures of house cats and bobcats and lynx ID'd as everything from "giant black cats" to jaguars to cougars it all got rather old and boringYeah,a lot of that exists and some of it is deliberate smart-alecism. It really hampers real research. Not long ago I saw this article <http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0120/Barbicambarus-simmonsi-New-giant-crayfish-species-discovered-and-it-s-really-big> and was shocked that what had pestered me and other trotline fisherman for decades was a NEW discovery! These things are so big they will shake bank line just as a large catfish can. They have been around forever and the scientific community is just taking note of them. Maybe if they listened to the common folk a little more....

CTPhil
August 24, 2011, 05:32 PM
I've not seen a cougar, but most of my neighbors have, some from only a few feet away. There are many local sightings every year and at every time of year. There is nothing else in CT that looks like a cougar, and the people seeing them aren't stupid.

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 05:48 PM
A quick check reveals there are 3.5 million people in Ct. That's about 740 people per square mile, and most of those people have cells w/cameras, not to mention the hundreds of game trail cams set up by hunters. Yet, other than this recent SD cat, there are no pictures of cats or even pictures of big cat tracks. Remember too, that cats are going to leave one or more scat piles a day and with modern DNA sequencing those scats can be cheaply examined to identify everything about the cat, right down to what population it hails from.

Most of those people are just wrong, though if those claims came from the spring of 2011 then they probably saw that SD cat that was killed in June.

Old Shooter
August 24, 2011, 05:48 PM
The government says they are not there. That's the first sign that they are there.

Many years ago I was woodchuck hunting on Gomer Hill in Turin New York and I came across a very large black cat, call it what you will. I was cutting across a field with many hummocks, up one and down the other and when I got to the top of this one there was the cat, apparently lying there enjoying the sunshine. He took off towards the pine trees only a few yards away and was gone before I could even register what was happening. The farmer whose land I was hunting on called the Game Warden to tell him about it and the farmer was told that cats that large don't live in New York.

The farmer had seen some of them on occasion from a distance while working in the fields and I almost stepped on one, but they don't exist according to New York Conservation department.

Go figure.

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 05:53 PM
Big black cats don't exist in North America and never have. There is not a single record of such an animal from the days of the earliest explorers to modern times. I don't know what you saw, but it wasn't a cat.

JellyJar
August 24, 2011, 05:59 PM
Hey all. Do we have exemplar DNA for Eastern mountain lions that are known to be only Eastern mountain lions? Is it possible that the DNA from Eastern mountain lions may be so similar to those of the west that you can't tell west from east just by DNA?

After all if one male today could travel 1500 miles from west to east isn't possible that the population of western and eastern mountain lions are really just one big breeding pool and not separate little pools?

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 06:07 PM
No. The DNA pools are quite specific. For example, a cat killed in central Canada was easily identified as a South Dakota cat rather than one from British Columbia. Two cubs killed in Kentucky a few years ago were ID'd as Mexican cougars and thus from the exotic pet market.

JellyJar
August 24, 2011, 06:07 PM
KodiakBeer

Go to GCBRO.com and you can find many sightings of unknown large black cats in the Eastern US.

Use this search query in Google

"black cat" site:gcbro.com

jimmyraythomason
August 24, 2011, 06:37 PM
Big black cats don't exist in North America and never have.We'll just have to agree to disagree on this point. Now back to cougars........

CTPhil
August 24, 2011, 06:40 PM
There are black variants in many wild animal population. The black Gray Squirrels in NYC are an example.

CTPhil
August 24, 2011, 06:44 PM
A quick check reveals there are 3.5 million people in Ct. That's about 740 people per square mile, and most of those people have cells w/cameras, not to mention the hundreds of game trail cams set up by hunters. Yet, other than this recent SD cat, there are no pictures of cats or even pictures of big cat tracks. Remember too, that cats are going to leave one or more scat piles a day and with modern DNA sequencing those scats can be cheaply examined to identify everything about the cat, right down to what population it hails from.

Most of those people are just wrong, though if those claims came from the spring of 2011 then they probably saw that SD cat that was killed in June.
CT is populous, but it's not evenly distributed. The NW corner is rural, and I've never heard of a hunter setting up a game trail camera here. I carry a camera all of the time, but pics of wild animals can be hard to get even of the common ones. I see bobcats fairly often but have never managed to get a photo.

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 07:03 PM
Go to GCBRO.com and you can find many sightings of unknown large black cats in the Eastern US.


Yes, but all the pictures are of labradors and house cats.

KodiakBeer
August 24, 2011, 07:07 PM
Perhaps another thread on big black cats is in order, so we don't take this thread off topic?

.45Guy
August 24, 2011, 08:02 PM
Now I wish I would have taken a picture, but I swear I saw one road killed a little north of New Philidelphia, Ohio.

jpastor1759
August 28, 2011, 08:09 PM
They are in ny saw them my self near Sullivan county and also near the poconos in pa. Also a well known fact the dec released 14 breeding pairs in the mid 1990's. also a woman was nearly attacked in Harriman state park about two years ago.

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