Friday, March 4, 2011

The Eastern Cougar is Extinct

via Desdemona Despair I wonder how long ago it was that hunters and gun owners were shooting at this wonderful animal.

The Service initiated the review as part of its obligations under the Endangered Species Act. The Service will prepare a proposal to remove the eastern cougar from the endangered species list, since extinct animals are not eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal will be made available for public comment.

The Service's decision to declare the eastern cougar extinct does not affect the status of the Florida panther, another wild cat subspecies listed as endangered. Though the Florida panther once ranged throughout the Southeast, it now exists in less than five percent of its historic habitat and in only one breeding population of 120 to 160 animals in southwestern Florida.


  1. It appears that no one has hunted the eastern cougar for over a century as it was apparently likely extinct by 1900.

    Also, most of the cougars killed weren't killed by hunters but by farmers and livestock owners.

  2. "I wonder how long ago it was that hunters and gun owners were shooting at this wonderful animal."

    Well over 100 years I would imagine.

  3. The destruction of habit and development of the traditional range of the animal did more to kill it off than all the other means combined. Hard to have an animal with a large roaming range exist when it's territory is highways, malls and subdivisions.

  4. Steven Colbert: "Federal authorities declare the Eastern Cougar extinct. Have they checked the Appletini Night at Hotel Ganzavort?"

  5. The last time the Florida Panther made the news was in 1993 when Fish & Wildlife relocated some Texas catamounts to Florida to improve the diversity of the genetic pool. According to the NYT article this morning, the last of the Eastern Panthers was believed to have been shot in Maine in 1938. And, doubtless, it was cattlemen and ranchers who objected the most to their presence. Nevertheless, the article pointed out that the absence of top predators like cats and wolves has caused an overpopulation of deer, and perhaps more significantly has changed the habits of the deer. They no longer need to be vigilant. They may safely browse without fear of predation.

    The deer and mountain lions in California both do fairly well. Sadly, it's the beautiful black bears that live in the Sierras, where you would think that nature still reigns supreme, that live in nearly constant starvation and desperation.

  6. I admit that I have no idea of the situation of the eastern cougar, but If you would be gracious enough to come vistit me in Oregon the next time you're in the states, I could take you on a 1-hour road trip and show you some western cougars.

    Don't worry, I'd be carrying a firearm in case one of them decides your face looks tasty.

  7. Now, wait a damned second, didn't you just chide me for implying current relevance of something described in a 1999 article?

    Now, though, you are implying that current gun owners should answer for the shooting of cougars, the last of which shootings might have occurred over a century ago? It is quite possible (to put it mildly) that not one of the shooters is currently alive, but somehow I'm supposed to feel guilty about it?

    I, like the vast majority of American gun owners, have never, ever hunted a single species to extinction.

    Running short of material, eh?

    You could always talk about "Operation Gunwalker," but you don't seem to like talking about that, for some reason.

  8. Zorroy, You're right. When I posted it I didn't realize the animal had been gone for all intents and purposes for many decades. I should have realized that.

    I still think hunting is sick and worse is shooting at animals while plinking in the woods or mountains.