The Eastern Puma has been officially declared extinct.


The Eastern Puma has been officially declared extinct.
The majestic large cats historically roamed every state of the US east of the Mississippi River.
But in the latest devastating news from the animal kingdom, the US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the animals extinct on Sunday, removing the Eastern puma from the list of endangered species for the last time.
 
The Eastern puma’s plight has been ongoing for over a century, and by 1900 they had all but vanished due to systematic hunting and trapping. In fact, Mark Elbroch, the lead scientist for the puma program at the big cats conservation group Panthera, said the cats have been ‘long extinct’.
The the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened an extensive review into the status of the eastern cougar back in 2011.
The forests and coastal marsh predators were only declared endangered in 1973, even though no sightings of the wild cats had been documented for three decades.

 
The last of their kind on record was killed by a hunter in Maine in 1938.
In 2015, federal wildlife biologists concluded pumas elsewhere in the Eastern United States were beyond recovery, and thus no longer warranted protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The cats are the genetic cousin of mountain lions, which still inhabit much of the Western United States, and are related to a small, imperilled population of Florida panthers found only in the Everglades.

 
They measure up to 8 feet long from head to tail and can weigh as much as 140 pounds (63.5 kg). These beautiful creatures were once the most widely distributed land mammal in the Western Hemisphere.
Then humans happened, and due to an extermination campaign and systematic habitat destruction, the cats are now extinct. Some were trapped and killed for their fur while others were culled to prevent the cats from interfering with livestock.
But marking the Eastern puma as extinct might not mean the end, according to some biologists, and the new status could mean more possibilities for conservation, with the help of the abundant cousins.

Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said:

''We need large carnivores like cougars, which would curb deer overpopulation and tick-borne diseases that threaten human health, so we hope Eastern and Midwestern states will reintroduce them.''

 
Meanwhile, the protection of all animals, including livestock, is sparking huge debate across the globe, with vegan movements and lifestyle choices becoming ever more popular.

Comments

  1. I saw one in Ludlow, VT in 1979.

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  2. we had sightings of a western puma or cougar here in Rhode Island ...verified....in the 2012 time period....they migrated from the mid west and sort of 'breezed' through. One was killed on the Connecticut road system and had been tagged several years earlier. It is a shame that the eastern cougar or catamount is now extinct
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    1. I think that puma came through the Twin Cities (as close as a mile to our house). At the time, there were news reports that it had come from the Black Hills. It was tracked as it moved east and DNA from several fecal samples confirmed it was the same individual that was killed by a motorist in CT.

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  3. Three words: Ivory Billed Woodpecker

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  4. I grew up in the Catskills of NY. Not sure why there haven't been reports of these big kitties, but they do still live in the mountains! I know many people who have seen them, including myself. Would reporting that to someone possibly get them off the extinct list and back into care?

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    1. Best way to find out - put big cardboard boxes out, with trailcams trained at them. If there are any cats of any size out there, they'll find the boxes. They just can't resist. (Only joking a tiny bit).

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  5. There is always the chance that some of them are in territory that man cannot get into too easily. We hear of sightings of extinct animals pretty often, so wild life tends to go to very secluded places untouched my man.

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  6. people site and take pictures of cougars regularly in northern Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The DNR rarely if ever confirms sightings in spite of the evidence for fear it would have to do something like put them on the endangered or protected list.

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    1. It may have more to do with the mentality that dominates South Dakota: If DNR acknowledges a predator species is in the area, these people will hunt it down. Because it moves. Because it's suddenly an immediate threat to livestock. Because it makes them manly. Mostly the first one, though. I know they keep track of at least one species that "doesn't exist" in this area.

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  7. I was chased by one on a running path in Minnesota.

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  8. They are here in western NC mountains, seen one myself

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  9. I saw one in Shohola Pennsylvania in August 2011 at 2:00am. A friend saw one nursing two cubs at dusk in the same year. Another friend had one jump over her vehicle at dawn in 2013. Another run in front of their vehicle multiple times same location at dawn. They’re out there.

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    1. it was probably the western cougar , though is there really a difference?

      https://www.animals24-7.org/2018/01/23/eastern-puma-declared-extinct-but-did-it-ever-really-exist/

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    2. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/science/earth/03cougar.html

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  10. There may be a logic to declaring them extinct. It may actually protect them from people who just want to hunt them or blame them for killing livestock. Maybe now the few remaining have a small chance.

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    1. I positively saw one crossing the path of me in my semi, as I was approaching the C&S security gate in Hatfield, MA, around 2008. The gate security people said they often saw one, on their screens, along with bears, deer and rabbits. I had no reason to disbelieve them. They said they had reported cougar sightings to MA F&G, and were told it was probably someone's escaped pet or some other line.

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    2. western cougar
      https://www.animals24-7.org/2018/01/23/eastern-puma-declared-extinct-but-did-it-ever-really-exist/

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  11. If possible, I'd buy ⅓ or 1/5 of the earth's land and make it a conservative land with high tech that can manipulate all weather necessary for each and all of the animals where they can roam free with no interference of disgusting humans. Then if humans are sighted near the place I'll make it so they will be killed immediately or weakened them, take their weapons and clothes then put them inside the conservative for the animals to eat. Other than authorized people tho (scientists for the repopulation of the animals, conservation peeps, etc) and me ofc.

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  12. i believe they just got breed out by the western cougar which is still around here in va , we just call em cougar or mountain lion. east/west what is genetic difference ?

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    1. also found this https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/science/earth/03cougar.html

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  13. There are 2 in a local zoo close to my house. Right now so I refuse to believe this news

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  14. It seems that if they are made extinct, there would be no consequences for killing an animal that doesn't exist opposed to killing one on the endangered species list

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  15. Whats the relation between this big cat and the Florida panther? Had a sighting of a wild one less than a month ago.

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  16. I saw one in southern New Jersey 2 years ago. Eastern or western I don't know but it was definitely a big cat. I got a very good look at it .

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  17. The coyotes are doing a damn good at keeping the deer, pheasant , Rabbit , Partridge populations down we dont need reintroduction of more preditors .

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    1. The pumas would help reduce the coyote population by both predation and out competing them for food. With no wolves / pumas (large predators) coyote population has been allowed to explode to the point it's causing problems for humans.

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    2. I agree. Too many people ignorant of how wolves and mountain lions would be extremely dangerous to humans. Coyotes are small and can be culled easily... wolves and mountain lions, not so much, and you would be the first one screaming if they ate your baby.

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    3. Humans need culled more than any animal does lol..

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  19. I think they should not be extint they are gorgeous animals. They deserve to live just like any human or other animals. They shouldn't be hunted and murdered. I say that because I love all animals.

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  20. "We need large carnivores like cougars, which would curb deer overpopulation and tick-borne diseases that threaten human health, so we hope Eastern and Midwestern states will reintroduce them.''

    No, we dont need them for that, we have lots of hunters who would love to eat some fresh meat. The risks associated with having cougars and pumas in the crowded Northeast isnt worth it.

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  21. I saw one in Schuylkill County PA a few years back.

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    ReplyDelete

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