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Location: Idaho
Joined: 09/20/2003
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Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

Boise-AP -- Last year the Idaho Fish and Game Department received reports about 30 cougar spottings in the Boise area.
In just the first three months this year, it has received 23.

Department Director Steve Huffaker says people should be aware but not paranoid when outdoors. Officials are worried the big cats are lingering around residential areas.
Usually the cougars are reclusive -- so much so that state officials don't know precise population numbers. State officials guess there may be six cougars in the Boise Valley and perhaps up to three-thousand of the big cats in the state.
And officials are warning the cats can become dangerous when they lose their innate fear of humans.
Because of that, Fish and Game will trap and kill a cougar if it becomes a frequent visitor in a populated area.

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Populations exceeding the ability of the habitat to sustain them maybe or is it the increased competition with wolf packs that have moved into the area?

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Location: Colorado
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Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

Or maybe it is the high profile CA cougar killings that is causing people to call in and report sightings more often (or just pay attention more).

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Location: Idaho
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Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

could be but what ever the reason its true , they are down low this year for some reason, might be just a population spike to.

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Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

That may be true about the spike I don't know much about Boise; however predator population growth is directly tied to prey population growth. Deer are the big cats stable and everybody and their dog is whining about mule deer being down (which they are). So if the population is spiking, what are they eating? Takes a lot of bunny rabbits to feed big kitties. Maybe they are porking out on suburban poodles! Big smile

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Location: Idaho
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Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

well i read the other day that the lions number one enemy is the wolf so maybe with 2 packs in the boise area the lion are being pushed some

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Location: NE Minnesota
Joined: 01/14/2004
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Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

What about other factors? Was there more or less snow, causing their patterns to change? Maybe more people are out and about earlier due to warmer weather (if that's the case)? Are people more inclined to call in a sighting now than before because of the increased attention? We often don't think about the obscure factors that influence these anecdotal sightings.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 09/20/2003
Posts: 138
Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

Snow pack was average this year and I believe lower then normal in that area.
I see really 2 things that have changed
1) Is the wolf packs moving into areas surrounding Boise?
2) Problems in California concerning cat attacks. I think maybe people are just watching more and finding younger cats closer to the city.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
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Idaho Fish and Game concerned over cougar population rise

I busted up a stalk a cougar was making on some bighorn sheep ... in wolf country. My guess is that the wolves are making the cougar work harder for food - and maybe making them work in conditions they'll be seen.

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