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E-M:/ Cougar Hair Samples Verified



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 03 FEB 05
Contact: Raymond Rustem, 517-373-1263

Cougar Hair Samples Verified

State wildlife officials today announced that results of DNA testing
on
hair samples submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
last November came from a cougar.

A motorist reported hitting "a large cat" on November 2, 2004, and
turned over hair samples collected from the bumper to biologists at
the
DNR Escanaba field office. The samples were forwarded to the Wildlife
Division's pathology lab and then sent to Central Michigan University
for analysis. The incident occurred in southern Menominee County.

"This is exactly the kind of information we are looking for to gain a
better understanding of what animals are present in Michigan and
identify potential areas for additional work," said DNR Natural
Heritage
Unit Supervisor Ray Rustem. "Though the information indicates the
presence of a cougar it still does not confirm the presence of a
breeding population in Michigan."

The DNR encourages hunters and outdoor recreationists to report any
sightings of lynx, cougars, moose and wolves using the online wildlife
observation report system on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.
Click on Wildlife and Habitat and select the Report Wildlife
Observations link.

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