Of cougars and wolves: nature trumps data any day….

Aside from the whitetail, one of my favorite things to learn and
collect ever-changing statistics about is the apex predators of
North America, especially since two of them seem to be gaining more
and more notice from those of us who reside in Illinois and
neighboring states.

Wolves and cougars it seems are making, or at least attempting a
comeback to the very places they were eradicated from.

Recently, there was an article in Illinois Outdoor News making a
small mockery out of residents who have claimed sightings of these
predators. Another small piece in a recent issue argued that it
wasn’t likely that wolves were here to stay because Illinois
doesn’t have enough of sustainable habitat to support them due to
urban sprawl and the fact that much of the prairie state is
comprised of farmland.

I do believe that the brain is a powerful mechanism with an ability
to suggest mind over matter, but to completely discount the public
accounts of sightings and/or observations of signs is also
irresponsible. I realize that sorting through is easier said than
done though.

On the issue of Illinois not having enough of the appropriate
habitat to sustain a breeding population of wolves, apparently
neither does Wisconsin, which is probably why wolves have made
their way from northern Wisconsin, and have established packs
(considered to be two or more wolves) as far south as Beloit. I
live in northern Illinois and Beloit is only a 45-minute drive from
my house.

As far as scientific and biologic data, all I have to say is this;
why do we think it’s always changing? The reason is that we’re
dealing with nature, a force not to be reckoned with, and it has a
miraculous way of making all the science in the world fall flat on
its graph!

I should point out though that recently DNR ran press releases
throughout the state to inform the public that wolves are still
considered federally protected in Illinois and should anyone
encounter an animal or sign, they should contact the DNR

Admittedly, there is no proof of wolves or cougars living in
Illinois. It’s my opinion that eventually the reported sightings
will be validated.



Categories: Illinois – Keri Butt

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