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

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






  1. Alan Gregory Avatar

    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:
    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. Craig H. Avatar
    Craig H.

    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. Alan Gregory Avatar

    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:

  4. John Glowa Avatar
    John Glowa

    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?


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan