12 Replies to “White Memorial Boardwalk Sighting.”

  1. Maureen,

    Thank you for forwarding your observation to us. Since mountain lion (Puma concolor) is considered an extinct species in Connecticut, we require that physical evidence of mountain lion observations is examined before we can attribute the observation to our property. We define physical evidence as tangible, measurable, and verifiable observations that can be corroborated by multiple experts who are accredited. Examples of physical evidence include and are not limited to whole specimens, scat, and tracks. We will take into consideration photographic evidence; as long as they record the locality and ability to scale the size of the animal.

    Thank you for reporting this information to CT DEEP, since they are the central agency that coordinates the monitoring efforts of mountain lion observations in Connecticut.

    Best Regards,
    James Fischer
    Research Director
    White Memorial Conservation Center
    (860) 567-0857

    I would suggest that I would have to have been very prepared to document an unexpected encounter with a wild rabbit by those standards. As for using the term extinct to describe mountain lions in the state of CT, I have to wonder, is there a border crossing to keep wild animals from roaming into CT that the public is unaware of? Extinct refers to the loss of an entire species, and they do still exist in the larger United States–Maureen

    1. Maureen, “local extinction” (as opposed to global extinction) is a legitimate term used in wildlife management. It is also known as extirpation, but very few people know what that means.

  2. I visited Boardwalk area today. I spent a total of 2.5 hours walking through the various habitats off the boardwalk. I did not observe any evidence indicating the presence of mountain lion (Puma concolor). All I can offer are my own observations. I am always interested in hearing what people observe on the property. It helps us understand these amazing critical habitats that we conserve. Until physical evidence of mountain lions on the property is provided, I can not attribute the species with the property. Please review our weblog at http://wmrcp.blogspot.com to read what species can be found on the property and to keep up to date with current activities of White Memorial’s Research and Conservation programs. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in volunteering to help us with our research and conservation endeavors.

    Best Regards,

    James Fischer
    Research Director
    The White Memorial Conservation Center, Inc.

  3. I hope “the central agency that coordinates the monitoring efforts of mountain lion observations in Connecticut” does a better job of coordinating observations than their New York State counterparts.


    As luck would have it a mountain lion was spotted by the wife of a retired New York Department of Environmental Conservation Colonel back in December or 2010. Since being the wife of a retired DEC Colonel earns you the state’s highest credibility rating, the DEC promptly investigated the site and collected conclusive evidence that a mountain lion had passed through. Apparently, they decided to keep this information all in the family because they chose not share it with the public or local authorities. They have only just shared this information since matching the DNA with the mountain lion that was killed in Milford.
    Back in June, the DEP talked about working with the New York DEC to determine the origin of the Milford mountain lion:

    “Meanwhile, Overturf said his department is trying to determine whether the 140-pound male mountain lion came from a domestic situation either in New York or within Connecticut. Noting that it is a crime to possess a wild animal in Connecticut, Overturf said several state agencies are working with New York environmental officials to determine the animal’s origin and are actively any pursuing leads that arise.”
    “Right now we have no permit mountain lions in Connecticut,” Overturf said. “There are two permitted in New York and (EnCon police in New York) are following a lead there. Other than that we have no other lead right now.”

    At the time the CT DEEP was working with the NY DEC, the DEC knew that a mountain lion had passed through New York State, but there was no mention of it by either the New York or Connecticut environmental officials.
    The New York article also mentions that a mountain lion kitten was shot in Saratoga County in 1993. I’m sure the CT DEEP is aware of that, but whenever anyone asks them for information about mountain lions sightings, they always want to talk about the extinction of the species or the unreliability of eyewitnesses (unless they are a state official or close relative).

    1. I’m so glad that someone else can call out the agencies that seem to bury their head in the sand over these sightings. We seem to be having many changes in wildlife..as I had two bobcats in my driveway this week. Why does it seem to be so impossible that we are having more sightings…we now have Moose in CT (woodbury, CT 2010)…wildlife changes and adapts. I understand the need for evidence…but it seems the “officials” are more interested in suppressing information.

  4. It is not my intention to embarrass anyone working to preserve the great CT outdoors. I saw something I considered important to report. Many people use our public spaces, and they should be prepared and aware that they are sharing habitats with wild animals, some of which can be dangerous. I was not ready for this encounter with anything that might help me protect myself. I shall be more careful on my future forays.

  5. I saw a mountain lion also in Litchfield, by the St. Anthony’s cemetary’s at dusk one night about a month ago. I was driving home and it walked from the one almost empty cemetary across the street to the other. I turned into the cemetary and followed it but it sped up and went towards the road that runs behind the cemetary.

    1. I was driving down South Lake Road in Litchfield, CT heading toward Morris in the White Memorial Foundation wildlife preserve around 10:40pm when I encountered a large cougar in middle of the road. I had to swerve around it and it just paused its path toward the woods while I drove by. This is a residential road, however, it backs to woodlands and the beginning of the wildlife preserve. I saw that there have been similar reports in this exact area so I have no doubt that I saw the same cat or a relative of the cat(s) that other people have seen here. It was very cool and I only wish that I had stopped to observe it longer or take a picture.

  6. My husband is pretty sure he saw one today, probably about 20 feet away in our yard in New Hartford. There was a rabbit running up through the yard and he saw the cat sitting near the apple trees. He stood up, and it spooked and ran. He didn’t get a picture. My cat won’t go outside. I’m certainly not comfortable having a cat like that in my yard, and hope to get a picture of it. After which I will expect those DEP folks who deny its existence to show up, dart it, and get it the heck out of here.

  7. I suspect mountain lions have been here for some time and no one has been attacked. We should not panic. I also suspect the DEEP is involved with a coverup for two reasons. One, the panic it would cause and, second and more important to the state, is that if they acknowlege a return of mountain lions, then the state is require to close off huge tracts of land under ferderal guidelines.
    I would not contact the DEEP – I bet they are trapping and killing the animals. I have been out with my camera at the ready but know it’s a long shot. They aren’t called the “gold ghost” without reason. ( Unfortuantely, I am moving out of state soon.)

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