Summary of the facts in New England

Chris pointed out that what most of the researchers on here belive. This should clarify this some.

1. “People attract deer...... which in turn attract mountain lions”. A quote from Morris Hornocker, the dean of mountain lion researchers. Anyone who doesn’t listen to Hornocker and incorporate his lessons in their belief system ought to consider another area of interest to explore.

2. What New England cougar watchers on this and other websites maintain is that coastal and suburban New England have more deer and other food sources, abundant edge habitat and adequate cover for pumas to exist than in interior or northern sections of New England. These places have idea habitat for the species. Cougars from a variety of sources have taken advantage of this abundance and established home ranges. The same set of conditions exist in Nova Scotia which has a habitat similar to Connecticut, a relatively mild climate and mountain lions reoccupying the coast and inland valleys in the southern half of the Province. In Cape Breton, most of the deer are also found along on the coast. That’s where the pumas are being observed. One of the witnesses is Sherman Boates, head of NS Endangered Species Division, who saw a cougar in 1996 from a distance of ten feet. Other employees of the Province have seen them as well.

3. According to officials, the only mountain lion killed in Ct was struck on the Merritt Parkway in the midst of the suburbs, not in the boonies. If it migrated from South Dakota, which USFW believes, why didn't it stop along the way and establish a home range in the Adirondacks or some other spot in northern New York? Mountain lions generally prefer to set up shop near other cougars for obvious reasons. Maybe it stopped when it got to Milford because it found what it was looking for-plenty of deer, suitable habitat and other members of its species. Based on the DNA reports, which we obtained, the story that this cougar physically travelled from South Dakota is likely a bit embellished. The DNA is SIMILAR to the South Dakota group, or as it is quoted, "the closest match".

4. Road kill records and sport kill records maintained by the state of Maine show that whitetail populations along the coast south of Portland (2-5 per sq. mi on average but up to 50 per sq. mi in some locations) are higher than in the interior (less than 1 deer per sq. mi). Ninety towns in Maine interior reported zero deer kills during hunting season and another 50 towns reported only a few. Since cougars take an average of about 50 deer annually, a lion would have to locate and kill virtually every whitetail in a typical interior township that size annually. To survive in such a habitat it would have to occupy an area of 150 sq. mi or greater. In comparison, Fairfield County, Ct may have as many as 100 deer per sq. mi in some locations based on aerial surveys and most coastal towns in New England report similar high populations- above 25 deer per sq. mi. The two large counties closes to Boston reported more than a total of 4,500 deer taken during hunting season while a single smaller western county in MA reported a total of only 180 kills. Other western MA counties are low as well. Most of the cougars sightings as well as most of a the evidence collected are in the same coastal or southern regions. Reports by biologists and other persons with the background or special qualifications such as state wildlife officers come from the same places. Even in states like Vermont, New York or New Hampshire which have little or no coast, deer are most numerous in the southern parts of the state or in valleys which have a milder climate, less snow fall and where people choose to live and not in remote northern areas like the DACKs, the Allagash Wilderness, or the White or Green mountains.

The Clark University study showed ideal habitat in Central Massachusetts, and parts of Western Massachusetts in the east to middle Berkshires. This is EXACTLY where the historic and current sightings have occurred, and includes the quabbin , where there is a confirmation.


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