Kansas DWP Verifies Mountain Lion Sighting

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The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has verified another mountain lion photographed by trail camera. The current cougar was photographed in Nemaha County on December 7th, which brings the total verified mountain lion sightings to five in recent history. The Kansas City Star has the full story.

Biologist Matt Peek said the department heard about the photos last week. A staff biologist inspected the area where the photo was taken the next day to verify the landscape as pictured in the photo. Peek said the department is honoring the landowner’s wishes to remain anonymous and that the photos not be shared with others.

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Ca_Vermonster's picture

I do think you are on to

I do think you are on to something there Jim. 

I think the main reason they might not want to admit the existence of lions in their state is all the headaches it will cause.

Lions are one of those mythical creature, sort of like wolves.  Once they get a foothold, you will see outcry from alot of animal rights groups urging their protection.  Plus, you never had to worry about the "mountain lion" section of the fish and game booklet, cause they "didn't exist".  Now, they'll have to create a whole new set of laws and regualtions to deal with them.

Before you know it, the DFG will not be able to issue depridation permits, without first having to complete some 10 year study on the health of the lion population.

I think that if they keep it low key for now, and some farmers follow the SSS method, they'd be fine with that.

However, these critters are almost from ocean to ocean now, and I wouldn't doubt them having a foothold in most states within 20 years.  Maybe they will establish a strong enough population that they can have a controlled hunting season ont hem, to everyone's benefit.

jim boyd's picture

Wow - talk about some few and

Wow - talk about some few and far between sightings!

Talk about something that is even more freaky - the young male cat that left from Colorado, traveled all the way across Kansas and, eventually, ended up in New Mexico.

That is a traveling bone, if I ever heard of one.

I wonder if he went on a walk-about headed south... could not find any of his "kind" and just kept walking?

There was also a comment posted to the original article that seemed to infer that the state of Kansas may not want to admit to the numbers of these cats they have in the state - in that they could possibly want to minimize the existince of the animals in the state.

I can not figure out for the life of me why they might want to do that... this seems to be a good thing for the state - unless there is a pure outcry (and some evidence) that pointed out that livestock depradation was happening.

Short of a negative impact to farmers, this seems like something the state would want to encourage - the fact that Kansas could lay claim to a resident population of mountain lions.

It would certainly be another "feather in the cap" for the Department of Natural Resources for the state and could result in - short term - increased tourism dollars and then... maybe... even a hunting season that could generate a great revenue stream for them.

I am looking for a downside here and just can not find one, unless the threat to farmers could outweigh the seemingly good benefits.

CVC is from Kansas - maybe he will read this and offer us some insight from a local.

In the meantime, I am going to consider this a good thing - and yet another example of a creature that has either expanded their range - or perhaps more appropriately - returned to ranges from which they were originally driven.

If it is the latter, that is a fantastic coup for wildlife - regardless of which side of the debate you look at it from... hunters and non hunters alike.

In either case, I say BRAVO!

Good read - and a super story...  

hawkeye270's picture

One of the biologists I

One of the biologists I worked with over the summer was from Kansas. He still goes out there every year to hunt his grandparents farm for white tails. Although he never claimed to have seen a mountain lion in Kansas, he had many relatives who had. They did not have any trail camera or normal pictures to prove their claims though. It looks as though it is not just the rare freak occurance anymore that lions are finding their way east. We just might have to revise their name and take out the "mountain" part haha. I don't think you will ever see the same population densities of cats out east that we observe here in more mountainous country. But mountain lions have proved themselves to be very adaptable and able to coexist with humans without being seen. We have cats come into Fort Collins all the time. They are never seen though and the only way we know they are coming into the city limits is because of GPS collars.