Study Says Cougars Could Reduce Upstate Crashes
Could cougars be making a comeback in New York?
Several local media outlets are reporting that the University of Washington has completed a study that says reintroduction of cougars could reduce deer/vehicle crashes by 22 percent in three decades.
Experts have said the deer population has grown quite large since the animals are not being taken by large predators like wolves and cougars, that are rare or have been eliminated in the Northeast.
The study suggests, bringing cougars back could reduce the deer population and, a result, cut the number of accidents involving vehicles and deer.
Meanwhile, there has been no hard information about the impact cougars would have on other parts of the environment and possible interaction with residents.
State officials, however, say they are not looking to bring the big cats back.
Over the years, there have been scattered reports from residents in Broome and Tioga Counties of cougar sightings but the Department of Environmental Conservation has not confirmed any of those reports.