Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mountain Lions in Connecticut?

One was hit and killed by a car last month. Interesting summary of DNA detective work here, showing how this animal is related to others in the Black Hills and elsewhere. I had earlier predicted that mountain lions would be reestablished in my home state of Pennsylvania by 2025. Now that this has happened I realize I have to more clearly define what I mean by "reestablished". I wouldn't count this one because it's still debatable whether it was caught and released.

Pretty soon there will be PA mountain lions made out of more than just stone.

So: "reestablished" means once there is good mountain lion documentation of two separate animals in Pennsylvania. Physical specimen for DNA evidence is best, but video is fine too as long as there's some way to be sure there are two different animals. Of course if it happens twice in a surrounding state it's just a matter of time, and PA is prime mountain lion country, so probably not much time at that. There's already one in Indiana.

So, even with my definition of "reestablished", would anyone bet against this? On one hand I like that a wilderness animal is returning to my home state's ecosystem; on the other hand I kind of like going for a run in the PA woods because I know nothing is going to jump out at me, unlike in CA.

Saturday, July 2, 2011