Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest


June 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new study suggests cougars are again spreading across the Midwest a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region. The findings by a University of Minnesota doctoral student, a Southern Illinois University wildlife ecologist and the Cougar Network are detailed in the latest Journal of Wildlife Management. The study showed 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest and as far south of Texas between 1990 and 2008. Confirmed sightings of Midwest cougars were sporadic before 1990, when there were only a couple of big cats spotted. The study shows that number spiked to more than 30 by 2008. Sixty-seven confirmations were in Nebraska, 31 in North Dakota, 12 each in Oklahoma and Texas, 11 in South Dakota and 10 in Missouri. Other states had single-digit tallies.