Cougars moving eastward

by Steve Galea | August 3, 2023

While there have been recent confirmed reports of wild cougars in northern Ontario, it is believed those animals have dispersed from western populations — and that Ontario does not have an established breeding population of the big cats.

That might change one day, however, and if it does, northern Ontario will likely be where it first happens.

MNRF scientist Brent Patterson said that the number of confirmed sightings in neighbouring northeastern Minnesota, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Manitoba are all increasing, as western cougar populations slowly expand eastward.

“This suggests that an increase in the number of cougars entering northern Ontario from these jurisdictions is likely,” Patterson said.

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