Last seen in the 1880s, cougars (also known as pumas or mountain lions) are making a return to the plains regions of the Midwest. Their comeback, heralded by wildlife enthusiasts, has brought concern and questions to many regarding the possibility of having these large predators in our midst once more. Will the people of the region make room for cougars? Can they survive the highly altered landscape of the Midwest? Is there a future for these intrepid pioneers if they head even farther east? Using GIS technology, and historical data, among many other methods, Phantoms of the Prairie takes readers on a virtual journey, showing how the cougar might move over the landscape with minimal human contact. Drawing on his years of research on cougars, John W. Laundre offers an overview of the past, present, and future regarding the return of cougars to their ancestral prairie homeland.