DNR confirms sighting of cougar in Gogebic County
A cougar image is shown from a landowner’s game camera, northwest of Ironwood in Gogebic County. (Michigan DNR photo)
LANSING—A mountain lion image caught on a landowner’s trail camera in Gogebic County has been confirmed as the state’s 39th cougar report since 2008.
The cat was photographed July 7 in daylight hours northwest of Ironwood, in the far western portion of the Upper Peninsula.
“This is very close to where a cougar was documented on a Deer Movement Study trail camera last year,” said Cody Norton, a large carnivore specialist with the Bear and Wolf Program of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
A DNR wildlife biologist visited the location. The image was reviewed and verified by the DNR’s cougar team, composed of wildlife biologists.
Since 2008, the DNR has now confirmed 39 cougar reports with all but one of those occurring in the Upper Peninsula. In some cases, these reports may include multiple sightings of the same cougar, not necessarily 39 individual animals.
So far, there remains no conclusive evidence of a Michigan breeding population of mountain lions. Cougars are an endangered species in Michigan protected by law.
“With an average of three confirmed cougar reports in each of the past 12 years, these animals remain rare in the Upper Peninsula,” Norton said.