At the DNR

Check trees for Asian longhorned beetles; midyear update on confirmed cougar reports

August is tree check month. You can help protect Michigan’s trees while you’re enjoying the outdoors. Look for and report any signs of the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive pest that could harm our environment and economy. While the beetle hasn’t been detected in Michigan, finding early signs of infestation can prevent widespread damage to our state’s forest resources, urban landscapes and maple syrup production.

In late summer and early fall, adult Asian longhorned beetles drill round, 3/8-inch holes from within tree trunks and limbs, emerging from their larval stage after chewing through heartwood. After a brief mating period, female beetles chew oval depressions in trunks or branches to deposit eggs.

Keep an eye out for these signs:

≤ Round exit holes about the diameter of a pencil found in tree trunks and branches.

≤ Shallow oval or round scars in the bark where the adult beetle chewed an egg site.

≤ Material that looks like wood shavings lying on the ground around the tree or in the branches.

≤ Dead branches or limbs falling from an otherwise healthy-looking tree.

≤ Be on the lookout for the beetles, too — but be aware of look-alikes like the white-spotted pine sawyer, cottonwood borer, northeastern pine sawyer and eastern eyed click beetle.

If you see a tree that appears to have been damaged by the beetle, report it. If you see an Asian longhorned beetle, capture it in a jar if possible and report it immediately at AsianLonghornedBeetle.com or contact MDARD at 800-292-3939 or MDA-info@Michigan.gov.

Cougar reports

No matter what you call them — pumas, panthers, mountain lions or cougars — these mysterious mammals and suspected sightings of them, get people talking. The DNR wants residents to know the department is listening and keeping a careful eye on where cougars reportedly are turning up.

This year, the DNR has six confirmed reports of cougars in Michigan, all in the Upper Peninsula: one each in Chippewa, Ontonagon and Schoolcraft counties and three in Delta County. In February, DNR Wildlife Division staff confirmed two of those reports after finding cougar tracks while conducting the U.P. winter wolf track survey. Four additional sightings were confirmed after residents submitted trail camera photos of cougars.

The confirmed reports are rare. Since 2008 there have been 55 confirmed reports of cougars in Michigan and all but one have been in the Upper Peninsula. It’s also important to note that the reports could be multiple sightings of the same animal.

Though originally native to Michigan, cougars were driven from the state’s landscape due to several factors, including habitat loss, around the early 1900s. Despite the occasional reported sightings, wildlife experts say there’s no evidence of a breeding population in the state.


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