Sunday, July 19, 2015

Protect Advocates For Cougars And Wolves

CreeAn Adirondack environmental group has asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation to consider reintroducing wolves and cougars in its State Wildlife Action Plan, which is currently in draft form and expected to be finished later this year.

“We cannot rely on natural recolonization for cougars from the west,” Peter Bauer, director of Protect the Adirondacks, wrote in a July 14 letter to the DEC. “Aggressive hunting seasons are starting to reduce the overall populations and it’s unrealistic to think that enough males and females will reach the Adirondacks to establish a viable population. New York leaders should take a hard look at reintroduction of cougars to the Adirondack Park.

“Wolves are also highly unlikely to recolonize a viable breeding population in the Adirondacks. Given the tremendous success at reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone national park, New York leaders should take a hard look at reintroduction of wolves to the Adirondack Park.”

Bauer’s letter comes weeks after the organization received a presentation on the subject at its annual meeting by Chris Spatz, president of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation. Spatz and his organization are strongly behind the reintroduction of these two animals in the Adirondack Park, saying the Park’s ecosystem and economy could benefit from their presence. Both animals are considered keystone species whose impacts are felt throughout the ecosystem. Spatz and other wildlife advocates have also said that the Park’s economy could benefit by the animals because they would attract wildlife enthusiasts to the area. For instance, places like Algonquin Park in Ontario and Eli, Minnesota, have regular tours for listening to howling wolves.

The closest population of wolves to the Adirondacks is believed to be in Algonquin Park, while cougars have been spotted as far east as the Upper Pennisula in Michigan, where they are considered by most scientists to be dispersers from Midwestern populations in states such as South Dakota and Nebraska.

Reports of wolf and cougar sightings in the Adirondacks are relatively common, although most are believed to be cases of mistaken identities. Bobcats are mistaken for cougars and coyotes are mistaken for wolves. However, many scientists says the possibility of lone dispersers being spotted here is possible. Neither species is believed to have a breeding population here.

At this time, DEC has no interest in reintroducing wolves or cougars to the state. Gordon Batcheller, DEC’s chief wildlife biologist, told the Adirondack Explorer previously that the department lacks the staff and funding to reintroduce or aid the recovery of large predators. He also said the department already has its hands full with hundreds of other species in need of protection. Furthermore, he said reintroducing cougars or wolves would be a complex undertaking, requiring the cooperation of nearby states and support from a wide range of stakeholders. “We just aren’t able to take this one on right now because it’s so huge,” Batcheller said. “We don’t have the capacity to deal with it, and it would take an awful lot of analysis and evaluation and public engagement before we even got out of the gate.”

The State’s Wildlife Action Plan serves as a “state’s guiding document for managing and conserving species and habitats before they become too rare or costly to restore,” according to the DEC website. “Congress charged states and territories to develop a State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) in 2002. Collectively, these plans assess the health of a state’s wildlife and habitats, identify the problems they face and outline the actions that are needed to conserve them over the long term.”

Some Adirondack species contained in the action plan are Bicknell’s thrush, spruce grouse and several species of bats.

Past versions of New York’s wildlife plan have included extirpated species such as wolves and cougars. This one currently doesn’t. Public comments on the proposed plan were received until July 17.

Photo by Mike Lynch: A domesticated wolf at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington.


Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a staff writer and photographer for the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly news magazine with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues.

Mike’s favorite outdoor activities include paddling, hiking, fishing and backcountry skiing. In 2011, he paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine.

From 2007 until 2014, Mike worked as an outdoors writer and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake.

Mike welcomes story ideas and can be reached at mike@adirondackexplorer.org.




45 Responses

  1. Bruce says:

    I’m all for wolves and cougars in the Adirondack Park. However, if you look at Yellowstone and compare it with the AP, the wild lands of the AP are cut up by public roads, villages, and private in-holdings, while Yellowstone is not. Predation of livestock by wolves outside Yellowstone is becoming more prevalent as packs try to establish new territories..

    Neither animal does well living cheek-by-jowl with humans, except for considering livestock within their territories as a routine food source. In the AP, moose and whitetail deer would be the primary food sources. Are these herbivores at a high enough density to support viable populations of wolves and cougars?

    Speaking of economic impact, the reduction of Elk outside the park by wolves is having a negative effect on the economic benefit generated by hunters. Fewer animals to hunt means fewer hunters. Are we trying to supplant one economy with another, less controversial one?

    This article: http://www.yellowstonepark.com/wildlife/wolves/ indicates there are only 104 wolves in the Yellowstone basin, yet they are having wide-ranging affects.

    • Robert Goldman says:

      Bruce, you write such convincing sounding baloney. Wolves take an insignificant number of cattle. Just google US Fish & Wildlife wolf depradation. It is tiny as in minuscule. Wolves prefer their natural prey. Wolves are at the bottom of the list of cattle deaths, massively dwarfed by birth complications, disease, poison plants, weather. As far as cattle deaths by predators, feral dogs kills more cattle, as do coyotes. Cattlemen whine about wolves because they are used to demonizing, hating and killing them without being told to stop destroying native wildlife. And you are brainlessly repeating their nonsense. Plus, privately owned cattle should not be grazing on public lands. Public lands should be for native wildlife first. Watch my opening remarks at the Rally for America’s Wolves in DC on September 7, 2013 and you’ll learn some actual facts: http://youtu.be/hdkl9zUy7nI

  2. Tim-Brunswick says:

    Coyote’s are already decimating the deer herd in the ADKs, particularly in the winter, when they can navigate on crusted over snow better than deer. Wolves will not only prey upon deer, they will also do their best to exterminate coyotes as competitors, not to mention livestock/pets on farms within the AP and on the periphery of the Blue Line.

    Present coyote numbers are kept somewhat in check through harvest by hunters and trappers. You can kiss that balance goodbye, when the wolf advocates fear the accidental killing/injury of a wolf by these methods. Just look at the Bobcat/Lynx situation recently in Maine…..

    Cougars/Mountain Lions…same as above and you can add people to the mix, as well. Cougars out West often develop a special taste for neighborhood dogs and eventually can turn to humans. Try reading “The Beast in the Garden” by “David Baron” and get ready to decide whether Tourism is aided by the consumption of some of the “Tourists”.

    Hopefully NYS DEC has more common sense that the so-called “Re-wilding” groups.

    Thank you

    • AG says:

      That is all fear mongering. Deer and other ungulates are overpopulated throughout the country (where there are no wolves and cougars). Man doesn’t really know the “carrying capacity” of any given species. Why? Because it is a fluid thing. Predator and prey are in a dance that is thousands of years old based on environment and available food Those things can change from year to year. Human guns and environmental degradation are the variables that throw matters out of balance.
      And yes a healthy ecosystem – with a sidebar of increased tourism dollars is worth a few lost pets (which actually destroy the ecosystem). San Francisco is the second most dense city in the nation after NYC. A cougar was spotted there for a whole week. No one was attacked and the city didn’t shut down. That’s a fact. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/07/08/mountain-lion-spotted-in-san-francisco-4-times/

      It’s also a fact that wild predators kill less people than domestic cattle do.
      Also wolves do a better job of keeping deer and coyote populations in check than human hunters do. They also keep cougar numbers in check too. Humans don’t operate by the same “survival of the fittest” that animals would have without our interference. In fact – we usually kill the fittest and throw everything off.

      Algonquin is a good measure though. Ontario banned coyote hunting near the park because people were killing wolves too. There is no mass exodus of people from Ontario because the big bad wolf has started destroying everyone and everything in it’s path. Algonquin and Ontario are doing very well.

      • Paul says:

        Humans are the most efficient and deadly predators out there. That is why we need seasons and bag limits to keep us in check.

        In the Adirondacks the winter is what controls things. Deer don’t have much to fear when it comes to human hunters or wolves. It is old man winter that is their biggest challenge.

        I say bring them both back. I will set up a sheep farm at one of my camps in the Adirondacks and sit back and collect the money the feds will pay me for lost livestock. This could spur a whole new economy for the region. I guess I now see what could be the economic impacts of cougars.

        • AG says:

          Huh? We have guns. Often taking the “best” animals – which is contrary to natural predators. That is not an efficient predator. We do more damage than any other species also – through habitat destruction. The Adirondacks is one of the few places that dynamic (habitat) can change

          • Paul says:

            Humans by far are the most efficient predator. Remember we humans have the CHOICE to take whatever we want. I said they are efficient not necessarily smart and wanting to keep a sustainable population of prey. Luckily many of these other animals have only the option of taking particular types of prey. If a wolf or cat had the ability to kill too many prey they would do it. They have that extinct they can’t help themselves. They have no choice.

            • Robert Goldman says:

              Paul, you are completely wrong. Human hunters take the strongest, most healthy among the prey animals. Natural predators go for the weak and the sick and thereby help make the prey populations stronger and healthier. You have it backwards.

      • Robert Goldman says:

        Thanks, AG, well said! Enjoy my opening remarks at the Rally for America’s Wolves in DC on September 7, 2013:
        http://youtu.be/hdkl9zUy7nI

    • Harold Cutler says:

      I live in California(former New Yorker) where we have a healthy respect for bears, coyotes and mountain lions. We keep our pets close to the house (coyotes will surround them, kill them) and with the drought the lions have been seeking water in swimming pools. Our animal control tries to keep them out of neighborhoods, but as people we have to be practical about wild animals. The attacks that occur happen to people who are not thinking. AND in the West, the cattle are grazing on PUBLIC LAND. As a voter, if I want to reserve the public land for wild animals, I don’t CARE how long they’ve been grazing there. It’s NOT their land.

      • AG says:

        Though I think California does many things wrong – I agree when it comes to animals they are way ahead of many. The Northeast (and most of the country) has very backward thinking as it relates to predators. It boggles my mind that people can say with a straight face that there are too many roads for cougars to live in upstate NY (not just the ADK’s) when there are longstanding populations of cougars in the densely populated San Francisco and Los Angeles metro areas. It’s almost a sad joke.
        (Wolves are different though because they need much more space and prey – so they need to be further from populations of people.)

        As to the cheap public grazing… Yeah – more madness.

  3. Steve H. says:

    This July 18th 2015 in the early morning, I hiked Rogers Slide with my dog and two friends.. At the top of the slide, while walking through a meadow, I heard the deepest growl that i have ever heard in my life followed by watching a long flash of tan colored fur whiz by 60yards away. We kept walking and 10 minutes later, as we descended to the lookout point at the top of Rogers Slide, the growl was heard again but closer and it appeared to us as if the animal was stalking us/my dog 40lb cattle dog.

    Convinced it was a wolf but not certain. 7:30 AM Nothing else happened.

    • AG says:

      Possible. Contrary to what was thought before – they have proven they can cross over the Canadian border. That said – it’s doubtful they are breeding and forming packs. It takes a lot of circumstances. Other wolves are very scattered.

    • Boreal says:

      Steve H.,

      From the sounds of your encounter, it was more likely a predator protecting a kill or young ones rather than stalking your group. A predator stalking prey would never give away its position by growling. Growling is usually a defensive act – probably being concerned about your dog. That being said, I would tend to think it was a large cat like a bobcat or cougar if it was tan and kept itself hidden while growling. It may have simply been trying to ‘escort’ you out of the area.

  4. Bruce says:

    AG, you sound as if you’re all for just plunking the animals down in the wilderness without carefully considering ALL factors. That’s not fear mongering as you put it, it’s just common sense.

    As I said, I’m all for wolves and cougars in the Adirondacks, but it must be done with care as several such moves to re-introduce apex predators were failures. Read about the Red Wolf program in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the fact that the same program in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern North Carolina is not doing as well as predicted. http://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/mammals.htm http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150318-red-wolves-north-carolina-conservation-reintroduction-science/

    Yellowstone works for Grey Wolves because it is an ideal habitat. I’m not so sure the Adirondacks is an ideal habitat for the reasons I alluded to in my first post. The danger to livestock and people is the least of it. By the way, Algonquin is a contiguous 3000 square miles with only one highway cutting it at the lower end, and no towns or villages. Where can you find this in the Adirondacks?

    If after taking the time to do the research, and the real experts feel it can work, then go for it. We are learning a lot as we go.

    • AG says:

      “AG, you sound as if you’re all for just plunking the animals down in the wilderness without carefully considering ALL factors”

      Huh? How can you read that from my comment??? I was simply talking about irrational fears. Of course it is not an easy thing. As I said in my comment – we don’t really know the proper carrying capacity of different species. All of our instrumentation makes us reactionary – but things work best when we are not in the way.
      In actuality though – it would be better to let it happen naturally. Unfortunately though there are too many trigger happy people along the way. If that could be stopped (like surrounding Algonquin) by the federal government – there would be no need for re-introduction.

      To Algonquin – yeah you are right. That’s why it has more diverse wildlife than the Adirondacks. That said – if you read my comment again – it was the villages around the park where coyote hunting was banned (to protect the wolf population).
      For some reason the people of NY love stagnation. There was a program to bring elk back to the Catskill region and it was “shot down” (no pun intended). Yet other states of done it.
      Oh and another benefit of large predators……. Wolves and Cougars prey on the incredibly destructive and invasive wild boar.
      Saying though that I think plunking animals down is just plain wrong. The reality is they would spread outside the park – and I think that is fine.. For farmers who raise livestock I would have no problem advocating grants so that they could get livestock guardian dogs to protect their flocks. It works every where else in the world. In fact – there is a grant program just like that for ranchers in Africa – which has helped stop the decimation of cheetah and leopards in some places. The dogs keep them away so the ranchers no longer seek to kill them. Learning from others is a good thing.
      The main problem with the “Red Wolves” – aside from the weak government – is that they breed with coyotes. I don’t really see that as a problem. Nature will do what it does. That said – the rest is mainly the same old politics.

      • Ron G. says:

        Just wanted to interject that most wildlife biologists agree that elk (wapiti) were not in NY State at the time of Euro-American settlement. Deer and moose, yes.

    • AG says:

      Actually – I decided to check for a similar program to the one working in Africa – regarding livestock guardian dogs. Apparently out west – they are importing foreign dog breeds that can deal with grizzlies and wolves. Even though it worked for thousands of years in Asia and Europe people are still “testing” to see how they work here. Nothing haphazard about it.

      http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-07/us-researchers-hope-more-assertive-foreign-dog-breeds-can-protect-livestock

      Then again – a lot of the problem in the west is ranchers using public land… That’s a whole other story though.

      • Bruce says:

        AG, I agree natural reintroduction is the best way. According to one DEC official I talked to a few years ago, the moose largely came back on their own, from Canada..

        The guard dogs (I saw something on TV about that) might be a fine idea on a one to one basis, such as cougars, bears, leopards or cheetahs, but wolves hunt in packs, and don’t hesitate to gang up on a dog. Anyway, I said the danger to humans and livestock were way down on the priority list.

        As far as politics are concerned, whenever governments reintroduce species, it is automatically political in one way or another.

        • AG says:

          Well yeah – though I believe it was a combination of moose from Canada and Maine.
          Elk are another species people have talked about re-introducing. They have been successfully re-introduced in Pennsylvania to the west and Ontario, Canada to the north. Do to hunting – it’s doubtful they could return on their own – like wolves and cougars. Moose were different though since they were not shot regularly.
          Check the article – the dogs used against wolves aren’t one on one. They work in packs like wolves do.

          • Paul says:

            Genetic studies of moose in the Adirondacks show that they came from VT and NH and some from Maine and perhaps New Brunswick. But it looks like they did not come from neighboring Quebec or Ontario. Moose from those parts of Canada genetically quite different than the herd we have in NY now.

            Moose can (and do) easily swim across Lake Champlain.

            • Harold Cutler says:

              Moose can also cross from Bennington to New York, avoid the lake altogether. When I was a kid in Vermont, we did see moose on a rare occaision, but we thought they wandered through from somewhere else. All along there was a population in the “northeast Kingdom” : no people) When the forest came back so did the moose.

      • Harold Cutler says:

        Yes, it’s the ranchers. They graze their cattle on public land. That was fine 100 years ago, it’s not fine now !!!!!! But California has your back!! We brake for birds, hahaha, but that’s one reason I like it here.

  5. Paul says:

    “reintroduction of these two animals in the Adirondack Park, saying the Park’s ecosystem and economy could benefit”

    I understand the idea that tourists might want to come and try to see or hear wolves. But can someone explain what the economic argument is for cougars? I lived in Colorado for almost a decade where we had these animals and did lots of hiking and mt. climbing. I never once saw or heard a cat, no one that I knew ever saw or heard any of these cats. The only report I ever heard was when one killed a runner outside of boulder (first time anyone was ever killed by a cat in CO). People might come for the wolves but why would there be an economic reason for cats??? I think someone is making this one up? But if someone could explain (Peter?) that would be interesting to hear.

  6. Charlie S says:

    Paul says: “I will set up a sheep farm at one of my camps in the Adirondacks and sit back and collect the money the feds will pay me for lost livestock.”

    You would feed your sheep to the wolves! That says quite much about you Paul. How do you sleep at night?

    • Paul says:

      Lighten up my man that was a joke, I have no real plans for a sheep farm. I guess you could say that if you support reintroduction of the wolf you are someone could be facilitating the sheep getting eaten since that does happen. That is why they have the program to pay farmers. BTW they don’t feed the sheep to the wolves the wolves break in and eat them. I don’t blame them I personally love lamb.

      • AG says:

        Fact is that coyotes actually kill more livestock than wolves… Wolves repress coyote numbers.

        • Paul says:

          The ranchers sure hate them. I counted 24 coyote carcasses hanging on one barbwire fence where I used to ride my bike in Colorado.

          Is the effect you note about wolf predation on coyotes been “tested” on eastern hybrids? Since the wolves are not going to get outside the adirondacks the coyotes around the rest of the state should be safe. Like the DEC says there are probably many things to analyze before you just start dropping wolves out there.

          I wonder why wolves have not moved from Wyoming into Colorado. They have an occasional wolf down there but not much else. They certainly have the food. Plenty of ungulates and coyotes to eat. Plus the weather can’t be beat!

          • AG says:

            Well they don’t need to “test”. They can look to eastern Canada. Eastern wolves and coyotes are both well established. In fact the hybrids in NY came from Canada. That said they are distinct. They only interbreed when they can’t find another who is genetically closer to themselves. There was a time when wolves were under heavy pressure up there. It was during that time there was the most interbreeding. Now that wolves have less pressure they don’t see it as often.

            They haven’t moved out of Wyoming to Colorado because they get shot. It’s really that simple.

            • Paul says:

              AG, No its not that simple. This is all very complex. You seem to understand that and they you just steer right around that complexity when it interferes with your agenda.

              • AG says:

                No – the reason they can’t colonize other areas is not a difficult equation whatsoever. That’s the whole point of why they had to be re-introduced in places in the first place – and why they have to be protected.
                Now all the other issues are complex… But that’s not what I was addressing.

                • Paul says:

                  “No – the reason they can’t colonize other areas is not a difficult equation whatsoever.”

                  That isn’t true at all. Most animals, like these, have to exists in some sort of sustainable breeding population with some sort of reproductive capacity or they die out quickly even if they are not shot. If what you were saying held any truth then any stray animal could wander into an habitat that had the right mix of what the animals need and establish a population.

                  AG, I know that you want to blame the “trigger happy” people for the failure of some animals to move from one habitat to another but I think you understand that it isn’t simply the presence of a few stray animals wandering unmolested by the hunters into an area that will allow them to become successfully established.

                  • AG says:

                    Paul – none of the animals we discussed are aliens to these landscapes. The major causes of animal population loss are over hunting or destruction of habitat. Neither wolves nor cougars had their numbers decimated because of habitat as much as by the gun. In fact – the northeast is more forested than it was since the last wolves and cougars were killed off.
                    You seriously believe what you are saying? In case you didn’t know animal wonder into spaces and establish themselves all the time. God made it that large animals (whether predator or prey) don’t breed so often. Coyotes were able to establish themselves in the rest of the country because they have the uncanny ability to increase breeding when their population is under threat. They are also able to survive on food that those larger predators can’t.
                    I really don’t understand how you can’t see that humans using guns are/were the detriment of so many species. I mean – do you think the elk just decided to leave this area too? Are you serious?

                    • Paul says:

                      AG, you are overanalyzing my comment. Of course overhunting is or has been a problem, and part of the reason that some animals have been eliminated from certain areas.

                      What I said is that I disagree with your claim that all that stands between a particular species re-establishing (or colonizing for the first time) a particular habitat are these “trigger happy” people you are referring to. It is much more complicated that that.

                      The Lynx re-introduction in the Adirondacks is a good example. 80 lynx were released. Not a single animal was shot in the Adirondacks (one was shot 400 miles away in NH) yet this program failed. I am not trying to defend stupid people who shoot animals that they should not kill. I am just saying that your claim that these stupid people are all that stand between an animal and its successful colonization of a particular habitat is not accurate.

                    • AG says:

                      Paul – the lynx re-intro was handled poorly by the state if you ask any non biased scientist. That said – the lynx population is struggling anywhere there are bobcats.. Why? Bobcats have a more varied diet – while lynx basically only eat hare. Bobcats will also outmuscle lynx for space. That’s regardless of the poor methods the state used. That said – re-introducing an animal and the project failing is totally different than an animal trying to disperse to other areas and being shot. That cougar that died in Connecticut was said to be from South Dakota. it died by a car – not a gun… That doesn’t negate the fact that most of the cougars from the Dakotas that travel east get shot. For some reason they do better in Canada though..

  7. Charlie S says:

    Steve H. says: “Convinced it was a wolf but not certain.”

    My dad claims to have seen at least one wolf in the Indian Lake area some years ago. He knows his animals though this cannot be proven.

  8. Mike#2 says:

    Yes the wolves are half already there, the coyote in the Adirondacks are bigger than elsewhere, and even sound like wolves when howling at night. They don’t yip, they howl, and they are already wreaking havoc on the deer. Their fawn predation alone is astounding. But wolves will indeed decimate the deer population, which would be their only likely prey, just as they have done to the elk in the West. Not to mention all sorts of unintended problems as noted elsewhere. Wolves do not just kill to eat, they kill for the sake of killing. Ask a rancher who has had hundreds of sheep killed in one night by wolves. It’s a bad idea.

    • AG says:

      “they kill for the sake of killing”… That is a TERRIBLE misunderstanding. Unlike wild animals – domestic stock are often “dumb” when facing a predator. Domestic stock are “easy pickings”. Predators will kill as much as they can (lions do the same thing) because tomorrow’s meal is not guaranteed. They kill as much as possible and cache their meat. They return to feed on wild carcasses over and over and over until it is done. The wolves don’t have the understanding “oh rancher Joe is not going to let me keep the dead sheep I can’t eat today”. it’s really sad how many misconceptions there are. In any event – ranchers who are not lazy or cheap can indeed protect their flocks.

      • Paul says:

        Some animals kill for reasons other than food. For example male bears will kill cubs in order to get the females back into heat so they can mate again. Lions will do the same. I don’t know about cougars. With wolves the males take very good care of the pups and feed and train them as best they can. Things have evolved differently for different animals depending on what is best for their long term survival.

        • AG says:

          Paul – my comment was directly related to “Mike#2” comment that wolves “kill for the sake of killing” for which he specifically related sheep. Not sure why you are going off an a tangent. Yes though – like male cougars do kill cubs of females they didn’t sire. All cats do. That has nothing to do with hunting though. Wolves are different because they are canines.
          Males of almost all species – not just predators – will fight – sometimes to the death – for breeding rights. I mean even deer do that. Squirrels even do that.
          I was specifically addressing the idea that predators kill prey they don’t plan to eat.

    • Ron G. says:

      Re: the deer population — Remember that the deer population in the Adirondack Park is artificially high. There are many more deer here now than there were in pre-settlement times. Wherever people clear the land for farms, pastures, roads or lawns, they create edge habitat, which is what deer favor. Deer don’t do so well in unbroken forest. That’s better for moose.

  9. Buck says:

    I’m with Gordon Batcheller, who happens to be an excellent biologist, as well as those who question the potential impact of Adirondack roadways on mountain lions and expect the outcome to be much like that of the lynx.

    I find it hard to believe that these predators would remain inside the Blue Line, where compared to areas around the Park, there are relatively few deer to sustain them long term. The impacts are far and wide and the last thing any hardworking farmer needs is another burden; including the additional cost of protecting livestock from a currently nonexistent predator.

  10. Steve Olin says:

    Mountain Lions and Wolves? Are you completely out of your mind?

  11. Ron G. says:

    When we’re talking about wolves in the Adirondacks, exactly what species are we talking about?

    I just visited the Adirondack Museum, where I was surprised to learn that the ‘last wolf in the Adirondacks’ they have mounted on exhibit was found to have coyote (canis latrans) DNA as well as red wolf (canis lycaon) DNA. That means that animal was similar in many respects to the ‘coy-wolf’ we see today in the Adirondacks, although perhaps with a higher proportion of red wolf ancestry than the animals currently found in the Park. The museum also claims that there never were any gray wolves (canis lupus) in the Adirondacks, or at least they were not present when Euro-Americans first arrived.

    I’d like to see catamounts in the Park too. I don’t know if they would survive in the long run, but I’d like to think it would be possible to restore them to the Adirondacks.