More Evidence of a Resident Mountain Lion Population in the State of Michigan

Here is the photograph recently taken in Michigan and released by the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy. Here is the photograph recently taken in Michigan and released by the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy.

For years the Michigan DNR treated residents of the state of Michigan as fools denying a resident Cougar population.  They told people they had mistook house cats as cougars, dogs and many other insulting and frankly stupid excuses.  Spartan Nation worked with the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy (MWC) and eventually legislatures saw the evidence provided and opened hearings about a cougar population in the state of Michigan.

After being presented with overwhelming and frankly embarrassing amounts of proof that they could no longer deny, the MDNR said that there were some here, but they were a wandering population from out west.  Well as the evidence continues to mount more proof was released this week by the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy.  Here is the photo and press release that they sent out.


BATH,  Mich. – The Michigan Wildlife Conservancy  (MWC), a non-profit organization based in Bath, near Lansing, recently confirmed  the presence of a cougar in southern Marquette County.  The cougar was photographed by a cased  and padlocked trail camera on private property on June 1, 2012.  The property owners will also share  their information with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) but  do not wish to be publicly identified.    

  Dr. Patrick Rusz, Director of  Wildlife Programs for the Conservancy, and Michael Zuidema, a retired DNR  forester, verified the trail camera’s location on a well-worn wildlife trail  atop a wooded ridge.  The camera has  also photographed wolves, coyotes, fishers and numerous other species at the  same site over a four year period. 

The  MWC is publicizing this photograph because it may be the best, clearest  photograph of a wild Michigan cougar ever taken.  It is also unusually interesting because  Mr. Zuidema has recorded over twenty credible cougar sightings in the same  vicinity since the 1970s.  These  include several sightings within a few miles of the trail camera location.

Dr. Rusz stated that “the long history of sighting reports in the area indicates the cougar photographed on June 1 may be part of a resident population rather than a wandering cat from a western state.”  Dr. Rusz has studied cougars for the Conservancy for 14 years and is  co-author of a peer-reviewed study that confirmed cougars in both peninsulas of  Michigan by analyses of DNA in droppings.  He has also identified a long list of additional physical evidence dating  back to 1966, and notes that Michigan State College zoologist Richard Manville  documented several cougar sightings or incidents when he inventoried the fauna  of Marquette County’s Huron Mountains from 1939 to 1942. 

The  large volume of recent Michigan evidence includes fifteen MDNR confirmations  since the agency formed a cougar team of specially trained biologists in  2008.   The most recent MDNR  confirmation occurred last May when a cougar was photographed with a hand-held  camera near Skanee in Baraga County.  That photograph was taken about 50 miles north of the Marquette County  trail camera location.   

“The  MDNR cougar team should now look at the very good evidence of a remnant cougar  population collected before 2008,” said Bill Taylor, President of the  Conservancy.  “They could still  easily verify cougar photos taken in the 1990’s in Alcona and Oscoda Counties in  the Lower Peninsula and some others.  The vegetation and other landmarks needed to confirm the photos are still  there.”

The  Michigan Wildlife Conservancy is a non-profit citizens group established in 1982  to restore Michigan’s wildlife legacy.  The Conservancy has restored more than 8,200 acres of wetlands, 2,500  acres of prairies and grasslands, and hundreds of miles of trout streams, and  helped with several rare species recoveries and the creation of many backyard  habitats.  The Conservancy website,, highlights some of the completed habitat restorations and  other work. 

About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.

3 Responses to “More Evidence of a Resident Mountain Lion Population in the State of Michigan” Subscribe

  1. M Painchaud July 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    Cougars (Mountain Lions) have taken down joggers and hikers very close to the city of Seattle over the past 10 years. They are not to be triffled with. Just sayin’

  2. Mountain Lion Foundation July 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    The only recorded fatality in Washington from cougars occurred in 1924 in Eastern Washington (223 miles from Seattle).

    As for injuries “Very close to the city of Seattle.”

    According to cougarinfo. com the following injuries from cougar/human conflicts occurred in Washington from 2001 to 2011.

    2002 near Olympia, adult female jogger, scratched (60 miles from Seattle)

    2006 Leavenworth (135 miles from Seattle) adult male playing with dog, punctures & scratches

    2008 Grand Coulee (228 miles from Seattle) boy, 11, scratches

    2009 Northport (392 miles from Seattle) boy, 5, non-life threatening (cat had kid by the head)

    I guess you could call these close, with an average distance of 200 miles.

  3. T Martinez August 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Yikes! That thing is huge!