Is the cougar endangered?
|Puma in forest. Camera trap photo.|
As at 2011, they say that the cougar (Puma or mountain lion) is of "Least Concern". This means that the cougar is not endangered according to them.
These are the categories:
IUCN Red List for Cats -- The symbols mean the following:
|EW||Extinct in the Wild|
You can see that "LC" is the best assessment meaning not endangered. Is this correct? They say that there are about 15,000 cougars in North America. I don't think it is correct. If you take a long term view you will come up with a different answer. It depends on how far into the future you are basing your assessment. In 300 years time there will be no cougars in the wild, probably. On that basis and on current trends the risk is high.
It seems to me that assessments follow the event. That is OK but they should also make long term predictions as a proactive measure. Reporting after the event does nothing for conservation and the purpose of the Red List™ is to aid in conservation, isn't it?
Associated page: IUCN Red List for Cats