Rare photo shows 8 cougars on Washington state game trail

Unusual proximity of so many mountain lions probably possible because of familial relationships-

Several factors probably explain how 8 cougars, very territorial animals, came together to feed on a dead cow on a cliff near Soap Lake, Washington.  The first is that it is winter. Prey are concentrated into a small area and in this case most of the cougars were probably closlely related (both indicated in the article).  It isn’t know how often this happens, but it is probably uncommon.

We saw these photos about 2 weeks ago.  Wish we had permission to be the first to post them.

Rare photo shows 8 cougars on game trail. “Using a camera triggered by a motion-sensor device, a hunter captured a rare sight: eight cougars huddled together on an Eastern Washington trail as if attending some big-cat block party.” By Craig Welch. Seattle Times environment reporter

Winter takes toll on northeastern Montana wildlife

Pronghorn and mule deer hit hard-

Winter takes a toll on northeastern Montana wildlife. By Brett French. Billings Gazette.

I posted a news release from ID Fish and Game the other day about winter conditions and wildlife in Eastern Idaho, but hardly anyone read it.  I took it down. I’ll watch this one to see if there is a true lack of  interest in the subject.

Nevada pronghorn released for new start on Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington State

The Cattle Association opposes the release-

Pronghorns released for new start on Yakama Indian Reservation. Ancient inhabitants are of the Columbia Basin.  Rich Landers. The Spokesman-Review. [ed. note to Spokesman-Review, the plural of pronghorn is pronghorn]

Good for the Safari Club! It appears that when the cattle association took their traditional selfish approach to restoration of any kind of wildlife, the Club went around them and their grasp on the government, and got them released on the Indian Reservation.

2009 Colorado dead wolf was killed by poison . . . the notorious 1080

Colorless, odorless, tasteless, violent poison felled Montana wolf that migrated to Colorado-

Note that the story below is a much longer replacement for the original story I posted.

Wildlife investigators: Poison killed Colorado wolf. By Catherine Tsai. Associated Press in the Denver Post.

Mexican wolf recovery: a classic hegemonic struggle?

Great article in Demarcated Landscapes rejects the dominion of ranchers over the rest of us-

“. . . along comes this opinion piece from the Salt Lake City Tribune suggesting that if ranchers can’t make peace with the lobo, then the lobo cannot be recovered.

…in the battle between our deep-seated fears and our hopes, the wolves bear the greatest burden. There is no new narrative of coexistence, of respect for all creatures on the land. We seem stuck in the stories of the old days, when wolves were the enemy that must be eliminated.

Until we change that perception, wolves in the Southwest won’t have a prayer

Yeah, well, you know what? Fuck that. Let’s change the perception that ranchers have any say in the matter instead. Let’s let the new power- the power of the majority of voters who want wolves back on the landscape (democracy) and the power of ecological common sense (that predators are important- duh!) be the new hegemonic force. People can’t make a living with their cows wandering around in wolf country? Then take a buy-out.

Read the rest . . . . Mexican wolf recovery: a classic hegemonic struggle? Demarcated Landscapes.

Sadly, Arizona Game and Fish just voted to support delisting the Mexican wolf, of which only 40 are left.  Game and Fish abandoning gray wolves. By Steve Robinson Editorial Sounding Board. Arizona Daily Sun.

The fact that they would support delisting when there are only 40 animals shows the number of wolves is an irrelevant issue.  This is a cultural battle between us and those who just assume they have some right to push us around — those who hold the hegemony.

Downed power lines electrocute 2 bears in NY

Sow and cubs get zapped. One cub might survive-

Downed power lines electrocute 2 bears in NY. AP in the Wall Street Journal

3 -4 years ago a downed powerline in northwest Montana electrocuted several deer. The power remained on afterwards too and a wolf came to investigate the deer and was electrocuted as well.

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Island Park, Idaho: Nature Conservancy. A bit more protection for their Henry’s Lake Project

Wildlife migration routes protected near this “working ranch”-

It was a wonderful thing when the Nature Conservancy purchased most of Henry’s Lake Flat in the 1970s to protect Henry’s Lake Outlet (stream), which is a major component of the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River headwaters. This also protected much of the sometimes beautiful flat from what would probably be very obnoxious sub-divisions.

The Conservancy fenced off Henry’s Lake Outlet from cattle, and its banks have been restored. However, they could have removed the cattle from the the flat. As a result the dominant use of the flat is cattle, not wildlife.  These compromises were made no doubt to please the Fremont County Commission. I’m not impressed with this “working ranch” stuff. When you drive by on the highway to West Yellowstone you can sometimes see deer and pronghorn . . . sandhill crane too, but overwhelmingly you see a flat full of cows.

The other day I stopped by and took a photo of this for Google Earth. Idaho “wildife” 😉 on Henry’s Lake Flat. View is to the east.

It’s good to see a little more protection for wildlife in the area has now been obtained. Here is the news release from the Nature Conservancy. Conservation Easement Protects Henry’s Lake Ranch