Rare Wildlife Sightings

NW Montana Woodland Caribou

Near the U.S./Canada border, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has confirmed recent woodland caribou sightings.

And, in even better news, a breeding pair may be present.

Although these caribou are native to the area, these reports are extremely rare.

Once spanning from central British Columbia to Idaho, Montana and Washington, active populations are mostly absent in the United States.

However, several unsuspecting observers caught photo evidence during the chance encounters in early November, which wildlife biologists were able to confirm and report to British Columbia for cooperative efforts.

As is the case for many other species, their range has been fragmented and altered by human development and industry growth.

Montana FWP plans to work closely with British Columbia to properly support the populations as needed.

Nilgai in India

While locals are accustomed to monkeys and other stray animals like dogs roaming their streets in New Dehli, a seemingly confused nilgai had been walking the streets for several days.

Not knowing what to do, some residents turned to twitter for help.

Officials speculate that the nilgai was diverted from its usual range after a wall collapsed in Sanjay Van, a thickly-forested city West of New Dehli.

A few weeks later, a nilgai made headlines again, about 800 km south of New Dehli.

In March, a healthy nilgai was spotted in a tourism zone of the Satpura Tiger Reserve. This was the first sighting since 1952. Since the initial sighting, no other observations had been made.

In mid-November, the Tiger Reserve’s anti-poaching crew found a Nilgai, fallen prey to a large predator, most likely a tiger.

Unfortunately, there is no proof that these two were the same “blue bull.”

Most suspect that the antelope escaped from a zoo or became loose while being transported through the area. Officials find it difficult to believe that the nilgai would have been able to avoid all the game cameras and patrols if it was a naturally wild antelope.

A scheduled III species and Asia’s largest antelope, Nilgai or blue bull is commonly found in dry regions of northern India. But in the south, this species has never been found in the wild.

In fact, in 2016, the animal was classified as ‘vermin’ for a short time based on the request of some state governments as the increasing population of Nilgai was destroying crops.

Michigan Mountain Lion

It’s always exciting to catch a rare find on a game camera. For Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wildlife biologists, their cougar capture was one of those exciting moments.

Since 2009, their game cameras have captured over three million images, but this is the first cougar. The Oct. 1 image is one of 38 confirmed observations since 2008.

However, the DNR emphasizes that this statistic does not mean that 38 cougars are roaming around the Michigan wild. There is no known, active breeding population in the state.

Some of the observations are of the same males passing through or looking to establish new territories. In fact, two of the most detailed observations came from poached carcasses, one from 2013 and one from 2016 that were found and tested to be from a traveling population around the South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska area.

Despite being native to the state, cougars are rare in Michigan and are protected as endangered species.


Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, India’s Express News Service, Michigan Parks and Wildlife

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