Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Wild Cats of Eastern Ontario: Workshops and Presentation

NOTE: the following information was provided by the organizers of the workshops and presentations. These are not MVFN events.

There is no question about it: cougars are being seen in eastern Canada and some report that cougars are attempting to recolonize former habitat. Cougars found in Ontario may be escaped or released pets, animals dispersed from western North America, or native animals.

Cougar. photo from LCSC publicity

Cougar. photo provided by event organizers

On February 18 and 19, 2017, the Lanark County Stewardship Council in partnership with Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters will host two workshops and an evening presentation with Sue Morse, a highly regarded expert in natural history. Sue is considered one of the top wildlife trackers in North America. Since 1977, she has been monitoring wildlife with an emphasis on documenting the presence and habitat requirements of cougar, bobcat, black bear and Canada lynx.

Tracking Workshops, Saturday February 18 and Sunday February 19, 9:30 AM. $30/person; space is limited to 15 participants per workshop. Each workshop begins with a slideshow presentation on Sue’s recent research on scent-marking behaviors. Afterwards the group heads out to experience first-hand how Sue applies this knowledge in the field. Founder of Keeping Track, Sue believes that tracking is a valuable tool in understanding the natural world and in conservation. “Animal tracking is helping people discover, document and conserve key wildlife habitats.”

An Evening with Wildcats, presentation and social featuring Sue Morse, Saturday February 18, 7:00 PM. Sue will present a magnificently illustrated introduction to cougar biology and ecology in a broad diversity of habitats. She’ll provide the latest on cougar sightings in the east. Her presentation will also focus on Canada lynx and bobcats. Besides Sue’s presentation, the evening will feature an auction, finger foods and cash-bar. Join us Saturday evening to meet this amazing tracker and naturalist, learn about wild cats and mingle with fellow conservationists and trackers.  An Evening with Wildcats will be held at the Perth Civitan Club in Perth, Ontario — $45 per person. This conservation fundraiser is sponsored by Lanark County Stewardship Council, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters — Zone F, and Watersheds Canada.

For more information on the events and to register/tickets, please follow this link to the Lanark County Stewardship Council page.

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Conservation and Management: Coyotes, Wolves, and Cougars

Canadian Timber Wolf

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
April 4, 2008
Submitted by Pauline Donaldson

“Conservation and management of coyotes, wolves and cougars” at next MVFN

On Thursday, April 17, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist’s (MVFN) will host a lecture by Glenn Desy, a wildlife biologist who has studied a variety of rare birds and mammals, but who has a special interest in wild canids, the group of dog relatives that includes foxes, wolves, and coyotes. The lecture “Conservation and Management: Coyotes, Wolves, and Cougars” will be the last one in MVFN’s series “Our Natural World: Conservation Challenges.”

Glenn Desy’s work as a wildlife biologist has spanned ten years and taken him around North America studying a range of species and habitats from boreal birds to mangrove monitor lizards. His University of Guelph thesis work was part of a 4-year Georgian Bay ‘wolf telemetry’ study involving year-round wolf capture, snow tracking, and prey surveys. Recently Desy joined the Ministry of Natural Resources in Kemptville as Species at Risk Biologist with the Natural Heritage Information group.

Wolves and coyotes are symbolic of the wilderness. As top predators they require a lot of territory and can compete with humans for resources. The Eastern wolf has disappeared from southern Ontario but is found in Eastern Ontario where its hunting is regulated under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (1997). It is listed as a species of special concern provincially and nationally. The Eastern wolf is distinct from the northern Gray wolf (Canis lupus) and very closely related to the red wolf (Canis rufus). Hybridization with coyotes (Canis latrans) makes distinctions between the species more difficult. Which do we have here and what are the differing landscape needs and predation talents of the wolf, the coyote, and the coy-wolf hybrids? Our speaker will help answer these questions and explore ways to manage human/wolf interactions, to help conserve them, and increase our understanding of these animals.

Desy also plans to talk about wild cats or cougars. They remain a source of widespread interest to local residents. An endangered species, the Eastern Cougar tends to be quite rare in this area but their presence in Ontario is generally acknowledged, as there have been hundreds of sightings reported. Glenn Desy’s presentation is 7:30 p.m., April 17th at the Almonte United Church Social Hall, Elgin St., Almonte. All are welcome and refreshments are offered. There is a $5 fee for non-MVFN members. For information, please contact Joyce Clinton at 613-257-4879 or see MVFN’s website at

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