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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spogatz View Post
    Bobcat. they are everywhere. Not to worry.
    Familiar with bobcat tracks, this one was easily twice as big, 3+inches wide. Still hunting for the GSMNP track pic, might be on my old 3G iphone which is dead. The other pic I have is from a dry riverbed in Olympic NP. FWIW, my usual camps in FL are in one of the habitats of Fl panthers which are closely related to TX cougars. I've never seen one or its prints in many years and 1000s of miles of hiking there.

  2. #42
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency) claims Alligators and Cougars are making their way to TN;
    https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/All...561246141.html

  3. #43

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    Not much said about the kitties.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    Not much said about the kitties.
    Not much said over all...
    But their news about the kitties is 10 confirmed sightings across multiple counties.

  5. #45

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    TWRA has very stringent guidelines for confirming a sighting. The info in post #1 doesn’t even come close.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    TWRA has very stringent guidelines for confirming a sighting. The info in post #1 doesn’t even come close.
    Agreed.
    The sighting in post #1 was simply a poor visual siting (400lbs? ) with no supporting evidence.

  7. #47

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    Being the most visited NP with lack of mule deer population and no evidence of mountain lion elk or whitetail kills I see little evidence of a resident puma population in GSMNP.

  8. #48
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    Everyone (me included) was certain there were no mountain lions in CT before a car hit one that roamed in from South Dakota about 10 years back.

    Resident population is a higher bar, of course.

  9. #49
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    this article is 3 years old so it's possible they're continuing to move east.

    https://www.wkms.org/post/tennessee-...w-map#stream/0

    https://www.wbir.com/article/news/lo...e/51-532680745

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATL Backpacker View Post
    this article is 3 years old so it's possible they're continuing to move east.

    https://www.wkms.org/post/tennessee-...w-map#stream/0

    https://www.wbir.com/article/news/lo...e/51-532680745
    Not much new here beyond what's already been discussed... other than perhaps the detail that a DNA sample from a cougar spotted in TN confirmed it to be a western cougar, perhaps from the Dakotas.

  11. #51

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    Nobody in the park service wants to confirm any sort of mountain lion presence. To do so would bring in the endangered species act which is a whole new universe of pain in the ass to deal with.
    ./~Hi ho, hi ho, it's up the trail I go ./~

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    Nobody in the park service wants to confirm any sort of mountain lion presence. To do so would bring in the endangered species act which is a whole new universe of pain in the ass to deal with.
    The eastern cougar has been declared extinct, and was removed from the endangered species list in 2018.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar

    Any cougars found in GSMNP would be western cougars, which aren’t on the endangered species list.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    Nobody in the park service wants to confirm any sort of mountain lion presence. To do so would bring in the endangered species act which is a whole new universe of pain in the ass to deal with.
    In a National Park, what would that matter? Other that trying to deal with invasive species, isn't the National Park all about preserving the wild life? And didn't mountain lines used to live in the Smokies?

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    The eastern cougar has been declared extinct, and was removed from the endangered species list in 2018.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cougar

    Any cougars found in GSMNP would be western cougars, which aren’t on the endangered species list.
    According to that wiki link you provided, a recent study determined that all North American cougars (Western, Eastern and Floridian) are all one subspecies separated only by geography, not genetics. "The researchers found that "Nittany Lions are not more similar to each other than to individuals from the Western U.S. and Florida", which only strengthens the position that all North American cougars are a single subspecies." Here's a link to the actual study, which suggests that the sample size from the Western cougar was not large enough to actually make that definitive conclusion. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/bior...14510.full.pdf

  15. #55
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    Thumbs down Let me make certain I follow your "logic"

    Your presumption: "The NPS would not admit there are mountain lions in GSMNP, even if they were there."
    Your conclusion: "Thus, there MUST be mountain lions in GSMNP."
    Please understand why I have difficulty following this train of thought.

    I'll say it again: There are about 200 cougars in Florida, close to a MINIMUM number to maintain a breeding colony.
    As of early August of this year, 13 of them have been killed by motor vehicles THIS YEAR ALONE.
    https://miami.cbslocal.com/2019/08/2...killed-by-car/
    How many cougars have been killed by autos in the Appalachians in the last 50 years?

    Which do you think is the more likely explanation for the fact that the answer is ZERO?
    1) A breeding colony of cougars in the Appalachians has, over the space of decades, completely avoided something the colony in Florida experiences routinely, year after year.
    2) There is not a breeding colony of cougars in the Appalachians.
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 12-09-2019 at 23:10.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by mclaught View Post
    According to that wiki link you provided, a recent study determined that all North American cougars (Western, Eastern and Floridian) are all one subspecies separated only by geography, not genetics. "The researchers found that "Nittany Lions are not more similar to each other than to individuals from the Western U.S. and Florida", which only strengthens the position that all North American cougars are a single subspecies." Here's a link to the actual study, which suggests that the sample size from the Western cougar was not large enough to actually make that definitive conclusion. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/bior...14510.full.pdf
    My original post was in response to post #51 which stated:

    “Nobody in the park service wants to confirm any sort of mountain lion presence. To do so would bring in the endangered species act which is a whole new universe of pain in the ass to deal with.”

    Whether the Eastern cougar is distinct from the Western cougar, or not, doesn’t matter when it comes to endangered species lists. The USFWS still considers the Eastern cougar a distinct subspecies that is now extinct, and has removed them from the endangered species list. Even if the USFWS accepts recent studies suggesting that all American cougars are one subspecies, they would still not be on the endangered species list.

    The USFWS, which is responsible for identifying terrestrial endangered species, considers the Florida Panther as endangered, but not the western cougar.
    Last edited by gpburdelljr; 12-07-2019 at 13:56.

  17. #57

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    I'd be more afraid of getting eaten by the huge feral boars. Don't wander around in the dark in the Smokies...

  18. #58

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    I recently picked this book up in a used bookstore, and these writers make a strong case for credible mountain lion sightings in the Eastern US and Canada.
    https://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Couga...Eastern+Cougar

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    A 400 pound cougar would be a freak of nature.
    That would be a world record


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #60
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    Exclamation You overlook a VERY simple and basic fact

    strong case for credible mountain lion sightings in the Eastern US and Canada
    "Sightings" of cougars does NOT equal a breeding colony.

    Male cougars, looking for love in all the wrong places, have wandered all the way from South Dakota to Connecticut.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-m...76Q5ZE20110727

    Exotic cats escape or are released into the wild -- invariably with tragic results
    http://venturacountytrails.org/News/...d/NewsPage.htm
    (if you want to insist that this proves their is a breeding colony of tigers in the LA area, feel free).

    There is no dispute whatsoever that cougars have been sighted in the eastern US.
    But there is no evidence (and paranoia is not evidence) of a decades-long breeding colony north of Florida. Period.

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