Photograph by Mark Elbroch. Does it really matter that the FL panther is not a distinct subspecies? Development has gone on unchecked, and increasing numbers of panthers become road kill. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Overall, cougars are in no danger of extinction. Most of these cougars were killed in … Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has completed a review of all available information about the eastern cougar, which has been on the endangered species list since 1973. Think of phylogentic trees, something most people can remember from school, and the “tree of life” showing how animals evolved and are related to each other. This classification is a key point for those who support future efforts to re-establish extinct populations of cougars in the Eastern United States. Since the 1930’s however, eastern cougar numbers had been rapidly dwindling, so their extinction came as no real surprise. The coat is typically tawny like that of the lion, which is why it was initially called the "mountain lion", but it otherwise ranges from silvery-grey or reddish with lighter patches on the underbody, including the jaws, chin, and throat. Highway crossings and underpasses are also required to save Cougar living in heavily populated areas such as California and Florida. Thanks for the clarifications! The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This was done with the authority of 1973’s Endangered Species Act. However, in recent years, populations have begun to expand into where humans are living, mostly in the western United States. Fish and Wildlife Service decreed this week. It will now be up to each state to decide whether that is a course they would like to pursue, however, the debates between pro-predator and anti-predator constituents are unlikely to be any easier. As a whole, cougars across the U.S. are managed on a state-by-state basis. Eastern cougars were declared endangered in 1973, even though the last known records were tied to one killed by a hunter in Maine in 1938 and another in New Brunswick, Canada, in … Eastern cougars, Western mountain lions, the North American cougar, and the Florida panther, for example, were uniquely labelled. Re-introducing federally protected animals, which are monitored closely and have stringent rules about how they are handled and moved, is even more difficult. Cougars were once found all over North America. A Species At Risk: The Eastern Cougar Reproductive Data Where Were They Found/Where Did They Live Cougars begin to breed at 2 or 3 years old, every 2 to 3 years at a time, producing 1-6 cubs each time. It doesn’t seem that FL will ever be able to meet the requirements for delisting through recovery, which I think requires establishment of at least 2 additional breeding populations outside south FL(?). The eastern cougar at one time lived over the entire United States and Canada. or decades, the presence of eastern cougar (Felis concolor couguar) in New Brunswick has been debated among biologists and the public. The agency's decision to declare the eastern cougar extinct does not affect the status of the Florida panther, another endangered wildcat. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) conducted a formal review of the available information and, in a report issued today, concludes the eastern cougar is extinct and recommends the subspecies be removed from the endangered species list. And last, some funny wording in the ESA regarding DPS status–is that it “must be used sparingly.” Given the current trend of the current administration with regards to wildlife issues, this might be a tough sell for awhile. Many states offered a bounty to encourage the killing of cougars. People in MA freaked out over a proposal to reintroduce the timber rattlesnake to an island in the Quabbin Res. Fish and Wildlife Service evaluation in 2011. But, further, most people agree this is unlikely. Here is the complete federal ruling, but here I provide what I believe are the five key take-home messages for those of us invested in mountain lion conservation. Around 1,000 cougars are thought to be in captivity in the U.S. and Canada. There’s a debate about how different these animals are from each other. There are also cougars out west and there’s the Florida panther. So the Eastern cougar will be removed from the endangered species list, where it was placed in 1973. A different subspecies, the Florida panther, is endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Then after,in 2011, the Fish and Wildlife Service opened an elaborate review about thestatus of the creature. Based upon subtle differences in coat color and skeletal measurements, historic scientists believed there were many subspecies of mountain lions in North America, including the eastern cougar.
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