This kind of review is required by the endangered species act t0 see if the the Eastern Cougar is truly extinct.

Some of the many sightings have no doubt been of escaped captive cougars. Cougars from the West are also claiming the territory.

I would not be surprised if the the Service concludes that any cougars found are domestic releases  or escapes and deserve no protection.

People who keep buy wolves, cougars and other such animals on the underground market are not the species or the animal any favors. A good example is the uproar over the sheep-killing, domestic wolf that was released and lived in NE Montana for several years.

Story in Carnivore Conservation

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to USFWS begins a review of the status of the mountain lion in the Eastern U.S.

  1. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    I just finished a lengthy feature about an eastern Pennsyvlania man who keeps track of sightings — and carefully investigates each — for a small nonprofit, the Eastern Cougar Foundation: http://www.easterncougar.org/
    Most sightings turn out be housecats or bobcats or escaped “zoo” animals. Ralph’s right. No one does the wild cougar any favors by picking up an animal on the underground market and then dumping it later when it outgrows the cage or house.

  2. avatar Craig H. says:

    Just a reminder: The Florida panther is a subspecies of the Eastern Cougar. One of our collared males ranged over 250 miles in his territory. I’ve seen prints but have never seen one in the wild.—- Some have home ranges less than 2 miles from my home in S.W. Florida.

  3. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    An excerpt from reporter Don Hopey’s story in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “There might be thousands of captive cougars in the eastern United States, according to the [Pennsylvania] game commission.”
    The link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07063/766416-85.stm

  4. avatar John Glowa says:

    It’s good to hear that Mark McCollough will be working on the project for the USFWS. I know Mark personally and he is a very dedicated public employee. What we also need is a status review of wolves in the northeast. I wonder when the last one occurred and what the reults were?

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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