US declares eastern cougar extinct

Mar 02, 2011
The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar officially extinct Wednesday, even though the big cat is believe to have first disappeared in the 1930s. The eastern cougar is often called the "ghost cat" because it has been so rarely glimpsed in northeastern states in recent decades. It was first placed on the endangered species list in 1973.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar officially extinct Wednesday, even though the big cat is believe to have first disappeared in the 1930s.

The eastern cougar is often called the "ghost cat" because it has been so rarely glimpsed in northeastern states in recent decades. It was first placed on the endangered species list in 1973.

"The US Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a formal review of the available information and... concludes the eastern cougar is extinct and recommends the subspecies be removed from the endangered species list," a statement said.

"Only western cougars still live in large enough numbers to maintain breeding populations, and they live on wild lands in the western United States and Canada."

The US agency asked for input about the eastern cougar, and determined from the 573 responses it received that any sightings in the area were actually of other types of cougars.

Of the 21 states in the historical range of the cats, "no states expressed a belief in the existence of an eastern cougar population," it said.

The service's lead scientist for the eastern cougar, Mark McCollough, said the animal has likely been extinct since the 1930s.

Explore further: For stable flight, fruit flies sense every wing beat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bald Eagles no longer endangered

Dec 26, 2006

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington announced the bald eagle will be officially taken off the endangered species list in February.

Recommended for you

Why do snakes flick their tongues?

Jul 31, 2014

Many people think a snake's forked tongue is creepy. Every so often, the snake waves it around rapidly, then retracts it. Theories explaining the forked tongues of snakes have been around for thousands of ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
1 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2011
Is this a joke???
THese very secretive cats regularly leave tracks, are spotted, and occasionally photographed here in southern N.H. The fish and game dept. officially deny their existence but unofficially are aware of there presence. They have been given photo's.

Oh well, I guess what we have here must be western cougars that have migrated east.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2011
THese very secretive cats regularly leave tracks, are spotted, and occasionally photographed here in southern N.H.
Most evidence is typically attributed to bobcats. There have been around 60 total confirmed sightings since the 1900's. Second, extinct doesn't necessarily mean that there are none left. It also includes animals that have such a small population that recovery is mathematically impossible