It finally happened on January 23, 2018. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern puma officially extinct, removing it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Yes, in many ways that’s devastating news. Somehow we let another incredible creature disappear from the world. Here’s the thing, though — the last sighting of this particular big cat occurred some 80 years ago. The eastern puma has been gone for a long, long time. So why is the cat only being removed from the list?
Source: The Eastern Puma Is Officially Extinct, But There’s A Silver Lining For Big Cat Conservation | Care2 Causes
Federal officials have declared the Eastern puma extinct, 80 years after the last confirmed sighting of a graceful wildcat that once roamed widely from the upper Midwest to the Atlantic seaboard. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that it was removing the animal from the endangered species list. The move completes a process started in 2015, when it proposed dropping federal protections for the Eastern puma, also known as the cougar, mountain lion and catamount.
Source: U.S. authorities declare Eastern puma extinct, 80 years after last sighting – Portland Press Herald
“Cougars are very cryptic animals,” says Michael Robinson from the environmental advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity. He’s referencing the fact that cougars often travel alone, often at night, and they’re hard to track. When most people come across one in the wild, it’s usually by accident. To see one in the northeastern U.S. is even more rare, almost certainly a fluke. Not since 1932 and 1938 in New Brunswick and Maine, respectively, were cougars officially recorded in the northeastern U.S.
Source: Eastern Cougars Declared Extinct—But That Might Not be Bad
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