Re(1): Delayed ReplyRe(1): Cougars from South Dakota IP: 18.104.22.168 Posted on February 16, 2015 at 04:39:04 PM by Chris
1. I did not dismiss the Craftsbury evidence. I said it was disputed. I noted that the Eastern Cougar Foundation (our precursor) included Craftsbury in their San Antonio Mountain Lion Workshop Eastern cougar evidence paper.
2. I include a discussion of New England evidence in my presentation. I discuss Craftsbury and evidence from our founder in WV in '96 that isn't included on the CN confirmation map. No history? I review cougar evidence from the entire East Coast during the 20th century.
3. Propaganda? Our foundation was built to find cougar evidence. We wanted to find cougar evidence. Our cougar biologists/wildlife veterinarians/resource professionals with decades of field experience have been reviewing evidence for our entire 15 years. We ran a decade of cam surveys in seven eastern states. We've spent tens of thousands of hours on the ground investigating sightings. We reviewed hundreds of solicited photographs. Some of our amateur staff have gone west or south to study cougars/panthers in the field.
I found cougar evidence in the CA suburbs and in remote Montana within an hour 6 of the 10 days I went tracking. I include in my presentation the disparity of running 5 years of cam surveys and spending thousands of hours investigating sightings in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic without finding evidence, to how easy an amateur like me can find evidence wherever a cougar is on the ground.
When our biologists determined after 10 years (some of our staff had been investigating eastern cougar reports for decades) of review there was no wild, breeding population of cougars anywhere in the East north of Florida, we switched our focus to recovering cougars to all of their former range, either by natural recolonization or by restoration.
That's not propaganda. That's deducing a conclusion from research. That's called science.
Wonderful to hear you're using scat-dogs. I look forward to seeing your independent lab's peer-reviewed conclusions.