Tag Archives: midwest

There is a mountain lion in central Los Angeles, prowling around Griffith Park

It’s true, in fact, there are several of them but mostly in the nature reserves of the Santa Monica Mountains. This one is different because it is truly in the heart of LA, Griffith Park.

 

 

Surrounded by freeways on two sides, Hollywood and downtown on the others, this is truly an urban area. Which makes it all the more interesting that the lion even made it into the park:

In an odyssey of perhaps 20 miles, the cat had to cross concrete and backyards, dodge commuter traffic and thread an obstacle course of culverts, bridges and roads…(it) might have traversed a bridge or culvert to cross the 101 and 405 freeways to enter the park. It’s possible, however, that the cat sprinted across lanes of traffic — and got very lucky. In a study of the 405, scientists have documented two deaths of lions killed by motorists. – L.A. Times

Fortunately, the cat (also known as a cougar) is extremely solitary and mostly nocturnal. It shouldn’t pose any harm to park-goers while enjoying the plentiful mule deer in the area. Not to mention, the beautiful views of downtown Los Angeles, the celebrity-packed Hollywood Hills, and that never-ending traffic of LA.

The L.A. Times has a nice write-up about the history of lions in the park, including the fact that several Angelenos claimed to see a lion and nobody believed them until now - Mountain lion makes itself at home in Griffith Park

Also, check out the spread of mountain lions from their dominant home, the Western U.S., and back into the Midwest (North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin).

 

 

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The rise of mountain lions in the Midwest

Cougars are on the rise in the Midwest. From 1990 to 2008, the number of sightings confirmed by wildlife professionals increased. That’s good news for fans of big cats, which were extirpated from most of that area around 1900.

Here’s a breakdown of the rise of mountain lions in the Midwest, by the numbers.

3: Number of known breeding populations that now exist in the Midwest: In the Black Hills of South Dakota, in the North Dakota Badlands, and in western Nebraska.

8: Percent of land in the Midwest that makes for suitable cougar habitat.

0: The number of cougars the average person is likely to see in the wild in their lifetime. “Really, one of the most important things I like to make sure people know is that it’s very unlikely that they will ever see or encounter a cougar,” says Michelle LaRue. “It’s slightly more likely than winning the lottery; your chances aren’t that great. But with that said, always be aware of your surroundings, especially in the wilderness.”

 

Source: Outside – By the numbers: The Rise of Mountain Lions in the Midwest

 
 

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U.S. global warming affects Texas, Midwest, and Northeast – the most

The United States recently went through the hottest 12 months ever, since record-keeping began in 1895.

National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration said that for the period from May 2011 to April 2012, the nationally averaged temperature was 55.7 degrees, 2.8 degrees higher than the 20th century average. The national average temperature for April was 55 degrees, 3.6 degrees above average.

To be sure, the higher temperatures haven’t hit every region equally. The Pacific Northwest actually saw cooler-than-average temperatures over the past year, according to NOAA data. Much of California was also cooler than normal; Southern California had an average year.

But record averages for the year scorched central Texas — which saw a horrific drought last year — the upper Midwest, and much of the Northeast.

The last time the globe had a month that averaged below its 20th century normal was February 1985. April makes it 326 months in a row. Nearly half the population of the world has never seen a month that was cooler than normal, according to United Nations data.

via L.A. Times