The US Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the Eastern cougar subspecies extinct. The declaration was part of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) review. Next, the Service will propose that the Eastern cougar be removed from the federal endangered species list because extinct species are not covered under the ESA. The designation does not include the Florida panther, which is considered another subspecies.
The designation Eastern cougar refers to the subspecies that once ranged from Maine to South Carolina, and west to Michigan down through Tennessee.
The straight-up news coverage, including all the details on the various subspecies and extirpation-versus-extinction, can be found in The New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, and Reuters. It’s served up with a twist of Thoreau in the Boston Globe. And the Canadians say it just ain’t so in this article from the Montreal Gazette.
The US Fish and Wildlife press release came from Region 5.
Photo: Not an Eastern cougar, but another, unknown, P. concolor subspecies.