Cougars Verified In Michigan

Posted by Kevin Eason August 27, 2012

Are there cougars found in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? Well according to the Michigan DNR that answers is yes. In the last two months alone, the Michigan DNR has verified three photos of cougars in Baraga County and southern and northern Marquette County. As of July 27, 2012 the DNR has confirmed eight sets of tracks, one trail camera video and eight photos from nine different Upper Peninsula Counties including Delta, Marquette, Schoolcraft, Mackinac, Chippewa, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw and Baraga counties. According to a press release by the DNR this is the 17th time the DNR has verified the existence of cougars in the UP since 2008. The last know cougar found in Michigan prior to 2008 was killed in Newberry in 1906.


So why has there been such a dramatic increase in cougar sightings over the last 5 years? Your opinion is as good as mine but according to Adam Bump a specially trained DNR Biologist to investigate cougar sightings “The growing body of evidence continues to indicate the presence of an unknown number of adult cougars in the Upper Peninsula,”. “In the five years since we confirmed our first cougar report we have yet to receive any evidence of breeding activity, as all images and other physical evidence have been from adult cats.” Bump also states “The increase in verified cougar sightings in recent years could be attributed to several factors, although the two most significant are probably the presence of more transient individual cougars moving east from established Western populations, and the growing number of trail cameras being used in the woods, making it easier to capture clear images of elusive cougars,” Bump said. “We appreciate how cooperative the public has been in sending their reports and photos to the DNR for review. This cooperation allows us to effectively monitor cougars in the state.”


The fact is that cougar sightings have been on the rise for the last couple of years. But according to a Michigan DNR press release they are extremely difficult to verify due to lack of physical evidence. Sightings reported to the special DNR cougar team will be investigated. They may come out and visit the site for verification. After they have collected all the evidence, then they decided if the presence of the cougar sighted can be verified.


Please remember that in Michigan cougars are currently classified as endangered species and it is illegal to kill or injure unless in the case of self defense. If you would like to learn more about cougars in Michigan, feel free to visit


If you would like to report evidence or sightings of a cougar you can submit it on the web site Or for an emergency call the poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.


We would like to hear your thoughts on cougars in Michigan. If you would like to keep this conversation going please comment on this post below.



Photo caption: This trail camera photo of a cougar was taken at 2 a.m. on July 18 in northern Marquette County. The photo represents the 17th time the DNR has been able to verify the presence of cougars in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.

















Photo Caption:

This photo of a cougar was taken by Baraga County resident Fred Nault near Skanee on Saturday, May 5. The photo represents the 15th time the DNR has been able to verify the presence of a cougar in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.
















Reference List : DNR verifies trail camera photo of cougar in northern ... (n.d.). Retrieved from


2/3/2013 4:36:38 AM #

elizabeth wildmo

I think it is wonderful that cougar are coming back to Michigan! They are a beautiful animal that deseverves the upmost respect and adds another element of beauty to this wonderful state! I had the pleasure of witnessing one a couple of years ago and will never forget it as long as I live. What an awesome sight! It was January 19th, 2011 in Genesee county. Not too many people believe me when I tell them what I saw but I know now that I cant possibly be the only crazy person in Michigan after checking out a few websites! Thanks for letting me comment on this subject and would love to hear from others who have had a similar experience as mine!

elizabeth wildmo

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