Too Many Deer on the Road? Let Cougars Return, Study Says

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/science/too-many-deer-on-the-road-let-cougars-return-study-says.html?mabReward=A1&action=click&pgtype=Homepage%C2%AEion=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=1&referer=

Cougars can kill hundreds of deer over the course of their lives, leading some scientists to argue that restoring them to 19 states with large populations of deer could prevent automobile-deer collisions.
KONRAD WOTHE / MINDEN PICTURES
JULY 18, 2016
Trilobites
By JAMES GORMAN
What large mammal regularly kills humans in the Eastern United States?

And what other large mammal might significantly reduce those deaths?

The answer to the first question is the white-tailed deer. Deer do not set out to murder people, as far as anyone knows, but they do jump out in front of vehicles so often that they cause more than a million collisions a year, resulting in more than 200 deaths.

The answer to the second question, according to a new scientific study, is the cougar.
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3 thoughts on “Too Many Deer on the Road? Let Cougars Return, Study Says

  1. When I lived in Maine for 7 years, the big, ignorant discussion was about how many Moose were hit by cars. The “game manager experts” solution? To hunt more Moose!

    Perhaps, the real problem is just too many people driving, on too many roads? Of course, I’m all for more mountain lion–but in many states, they are increasing hunting and trapping of them, particularly because of livestock interests. What a tragedy.

    http://www.foranimals.org

  2. What a perspective. Deer jumping out in the road and causing human death? What about humans and their gazillions of automobiles and habitat commandeering, so that all wildlife is relegated into a smaller and smaller area, basically being cornered?

    Also, we’re very slow learners – Introducing predators to keep deer numbers in check isn’t rocket science, or new either. And why not wolves? Too much superstition and irrational fear surrounding wolves, but not cougars.

    Also, I’d be very surprised if ‘decision makers’ (read: hunters and ranchers and industry, and their servants in gov’t) would be willing to share any deer or elk with any other living thing. To me, that’s the big reason why this ‘revelation’ keeps getting brushed aside – hunters want all the ungulates for themselves, including the roadkill! I read where roadkill deer were being used on median strips for fertilizer, or some human use. Anything but let the wildlife have it. We do not share very well. Talk about macabre (I believe this is just one of many states):

    http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/road-kill-compost/article_fc3346bf-b87b-51cc-9512-0e2373a778ff.html

  3. Introducing all predators where there is still room for them, and also over/underpasses on our highways so as to at least try to accommodate wildlife crossings and migration, (and also help to prevent collisons and save human life) should be the goal, IMO. But as well as greedy and shortsighted – we’re too cheap to pay for that, even if it means saving human life. And we can see where this will end up – an imbalance of one predator, and more to hunt, trap and execute for being to close to human settlement, wandering off the course we want the cougars to stay on. Maybe we can have them sign with a big pawprint that they won’t get too close, and behave only as we want them to.

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