We would like to thank you for your interest in the eastern cougar and the conclusion of our five-year review. We hope to continue using this cougar blog as a place where you can share your stories.
We recommend caution and notifying state and local wildlife officials when a cougar is observed. Evidence of cougars can also be submitted to The Cougar Network.
Credit: Robert Savannah
Here is more information about the review in response to your comments:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required to do reviews of listed species every five years to determine whether or not they still meet the definition of endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. After doing our extensive review of the eastern cougar, we concluded that no evidence supports the existence of the eastern cougar. This conclusion does not reflect populations of other cougar subspecies, including those in the western U.S. and in Florida.
We acknowledge and understand that people can and do see cougars. Service biologists assembled 108 records dating from 1900 to 2010 with a high level of confirmation that the described animals were cougars. After careful examination, the biologists concluded all cougars reported were of other subspecies origin, including other North American and South American subspecies, that escaped or were released from captivity or that dispersed from the western United States.
During the review, the Service received 573 responses to a request for scientific information about the possible existence of the eastern cougar subspecies; conducted an extensive review of U.S. and Canadian scientific literature; and requested information from the 21 states within the historical range of the subspecies. No states expressed a belief in the existence of an eastern cougar population.
Please continue to share your stories and visit www.fws.gov/northeast/ecougar for more information!