Skip to main content

Eastern Cougar To Be Removed from the Endangered Species List

Camera trap photograph of cougar

The Fish and Wildlife Service propose removing the Eastern Cougar from the Endangered Species List because they say that it is “likely" to be extinct.  Therefore they are not completely sure.  The reason why they're not completely sure is because there are still cougar sightings in the east of the United States.  There are often seen in North Carolina for instance.  The Fish and Wildlife Service would say that these odd mountain lion sightings are cats that have wandered in from the west or escaped captive cougars.  They might also be from Florida where there is a small population of cougars and finally they may be incorrect sightings.

I have noticed that way back in 2011 the Fish and Wildlife Service made a similar pronouncement that the cougar was extinct in the East.  The difference this time is that they are proposing removing the species from the Endangered Species List.  Obviously if an animal is extinct there is no point in listing it as endangered.

Most cougars disappeared in the nineteenth century as they were killed by European immigrants or due to loss of their habitat when forests were cleared.  In addition, the cougar's main prey, white-tailed deer, was hunted by humans and almost became extinct in North America.

One formally reported sighting of a male cougar in the east of the USA was in 2011 when a solitary young male travelled 2000 miles from South Dakota through Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York.  It was killed on the highway in Connecticut. A motor vehicle killed this cougar.  In Florida, as I understand it, the Florida panther is most often killed by motor vehicles as highways criss-cross the state.  Highways also present natural barriers to wild cougars.

I wonder how may people consider this to be a sad day to declare the eastern cougar extinct.  There is one question mark for me and that is whether the eastern cougar is a distinct subspecies.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti