Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mountain Lions Are Coming to PA: Strong Case That They're Already in Finger Lakes Area of New York State

Len Lisenbee reports in the Daily Messenger his reason for changing his mind and becoming a believer that there are mountain lions in New York State - tracks, both photographed and recorded in plaster casts.

Of course we all have an uncle who has "taken a poctire of a mountain lion he saw while hunting in Pennsylvania", or sometimes even shot one. When you ask for the evidence somehow the people always disappear. But that just means we don't have good evidence of mountain lions right now - not that they can never come back. That mountain lion run over in Connecticut had come all the way from South Dakota, and it wasn't captured and released - there's evidence of it crossing the territory in between. And there have always been mountain lions in Quebec. And they're now verified in Indiana. Once they get to the Appalachians or Allegheny Plateau, it's over - they'll be all the way down to Georgia in a decade. That terrain is mountain lion heaven.

My prediction stands: we will have photographic or physical evidence of two wild mountain lions in Pennsylvania by 2025. If the findings reported above occurred in PA, I might count that. Penn State's mascot will take on new significance!

I am sad in the abstract that these animals were extirpated from PA's forests, but I'll tell you what: it's kind of nice to go for a trail run in PA - as opposed to California - and know you won't run into one. Those days are coming to a close.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Schuylkill River Trail: Ride for the River September 28

Live around the Schuylkill River? Like to ride your bike? Check out the Ride for the River on the Schuylkill River Trail. Important: beer.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Geological Mystery Solved: Hotspots Move

The bend in the Hawaiian Islands was caused in part or whole by the hotspot moving, not the plate moving, and the pattern of mantle plumes dates back to the breakup of Pangea. Press release here, paper by Bono, Tarduno and Bunge here. (More on old volcanism in the Atlantic here.)