Puma and Other Critters

Coexisting with Wildlife

When most people talk about "wildlife," said Stephen Vantassel in an SLA session today, they think of Bambi. 

But sooner or later most of us will have to deal with critters we would do anything to be rid of.

Vantassel, from the University of Nebraska, operates a Web site that your patrons, employers or you yourself may need to consult. 

He described his Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management site  (http://icwdm.org)  as a place to find "out of the way information" on research-based techniques to solve or prevent animal problems.  Among the tools available on the site are decision trees that drive the user to a conclusion about what animal is involved in a specific type of damage and what to do about it. 

Speaking at the same session Ken Logan (puma expert and currently working with Colorado Division of Wildlife on a project to study human interactions with puma), drove the point home for anyone living in the Western United States. 

A million new people are expected to move to Colorado in the next 10 years, Logan said.  The area being developed, along the front ridge of the Rockies and to the west of Denver, is "prime puma habitat."  Though documented Puma attacks on humans over the last 100 years are low, they have increased in recent years and children are vulnerable.  If you go skiing or hiking in puma habitats, he recommended, you keep your children with you.  If confronted, don’t run.  Most of his tagged cats either fled or stayed put when approached.  But in a small number of incidents they have charged him as he attempted to get close enough to count their cubs. 

Dick Kaser
ITI,VP. Content

Dr. Logan’s book on Puma is reviewed here:  http://www2.nau.edu/cpscb-p/DesertPumaPBReview.htm

 

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