Category: Trail camera program

Southeastern CT Residents: Assist our Research

There have been numerous reports consistent with a mountain lion in the region encompassing Ledyard, N. Stonington, Stonington, Old Mystic,and Groton along route 184. See the recent article in the New London Day by Stacey Catalfamo “Are There Mountain Lions in North Stonington?”

We at Cougars of the Valley have placed and monitor trail cameras on private property in Stonington, Old Mystic, and Ledyard attempting to capture definitive video evidence of a mountain lion in the area. We have yet to capture one on video, but our efforts continue and will soon expand.

We welcome and encourage your participation, and appreciate the numerous land owners who have allowed us access to place trail cameras to support our research.

You can help us! If you are a sportsman who uses a trail camera during the season, keep it up year round on game trails. If you capture pics/video of a wild cat, forward to us for identification. The more trail cams in the field the better.

There has not been a definitive video/photo of a wild mountain lion in CT. A couple of pnotos were obtained in fairfield county prior to the mountain lion being struck by a car in Milford, CT 6/2011 and DEEP associates those photos with that single ML.

Make sure your trail camera is positioned to capture enough backgroung features to allow for proving the location of the photo. i.e. Avoid placing angled down towards an open grassy field that would not allow for location confirmation.

email any photos or questions to Bo Ottman

Night Video From Our Trail Cam Test Site

For those of you following the start up of our trail camera program, here is a new video myself and Bo Ottman retrieved off one of the three camera sites we have working in Canton this evening.

This video shows a Bobcat at night responding to a distressed prey call. Turn your volume up and you can hear the prey call (distressed rabbit simulator) at the 4 second and 40 second marks. The cat has it’s tail moving, and he is intently watching the brush about 5 feet forward and to the left of the cat where the call is located.

Here is a link to the video:

We are looking forward to launching our wider trail cam effort very shortly, and will set a link to our youtube page so everyone can follow our progress.

Dr. John Pettini

Important Trail Camera Initiative, Please Read!

To all followers of Cougars of the Valley (COV):

Cougars of the Valley (COV) is preparing to launch a major new initiative to document undisputed evidence of a wild Mountain Lion population within our State. I am a volunteer field researcher (Biologist and Physician) working directly with Bo Ottmann the founder and director of this great organization. We have been in the field together trialing camera trap methods that have been successful in many regions and research projects to document big cats.

Cougars are the most elusive of all the wild cats, rarely seen even in areas where their numbers are great. Bobcats are also quite difficult to lure in front of a trail camera. Engaging methods from other research studies, we have been quite successful in our efforts. In the past four weeks, we have captured on high definition trail cameras 5 different bobcats at three camera sites.

Here is a link to a rare, up close daytime video of a large bobcat at one of our monitoring sites in Canton, CT :

I post not only for your enjoyment of seeing this majestic cat, but to also demonstrate the clarity of our high definition cameras which lend to precise identification of the animal.

We are so encouraged by our results (more video links posted below) Bo has agreed to move forward with a major coordinated trail camera effort aimed at clearly documenting our cougar population.

COV will be announcing a fund raising campaign through the web site with the goal of raising enough money to equip our team of field researchers with at least 20 of these trail cameras. With our methods of visual and olfactory lures in combination with multiple camera sites, we are highly confident of success.

We truly appreciate all the support you can give to this very exciting initiative and plan to regularly share progress reports with the loyal followers of this site and on our facebook page.

Stay tuned for more details and KEEP POSTING YOUR SIGHTINGS REPORTS! We leave you with some of our recent trail camera captures…Enjoy.

Bobcat at Night:

Up close bobcat Simsbury:

Curious Bear Touches our Camera:

Coyote in Day time:

Take care, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Dr. John Pettini

Daytime bobcat rubbing: