Just how many mountain lions are there in Texas? Nick Reynolds, a contributor based in Dallas, Texas, set out to answer this question — a question that’s been on the minds of Texas residents for years — in a recent story. Using data from confirmed sightings, Nick demonstrates that Texas is home to hundreds of mountain lions — even if the exact number of the felines, which are also known as pumas or cougars, “within the state boundaries remains unknown and is widely debated.”
“Texas only keeps data on ‘confirmed’ sightings, so the guess as far as the true number goes is wildly speculative,” Nick told NewsBreak. “Many in the state believe the number is far greater than the stats say because unconfirmed sightings are through the roof.”
After publishing his story, Nick says he connected with other Texas residents “claiming potential sightings in areas of the state that aren’t thought to have mountain lions.”
For Nick, who says he has a personal fascination with mountain lions given their majestic, secretive, and mysterious nature, the story was eye-opening. Although the established mountain lion range only covers about 20% of the state, unconfirmed sighting claims have occurred in every one of Texas’ 254 counties, he said.
Beyond Texas feline sightings, Nick also enjoys writing about travel and other wildlife stories in the state. Other recent stories of his include one about Texas snake season and another about whether wolves should be reintroduced in West Texas. Per his story, the last known wild wolves in Texas were killed near Alpine in 1970.
For many people, wildlife like mountain lions, wolves, and snakes can seem scary, but Nick uses his NewsBreak platform to break down the importance of these creatures and dispel common myths about them.
“Snakes get a bad rap. They're not looking to bite us. They're just looking for a meal they can fit into their mouths and would rather save their bites for that. Not us,” Nick writes. “And they're as unhappy encountering us as we are with them. Use common sense -- watch where you step and put your hands and you'll be snakebite-free this snake season.”