The existence of living eastern cougars has been in contention for decades , but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded yesterday that the eastern cougar has gone extinct, removing the species from the endangered species list.
“We recognize that many people have seen cougars in the wild within the historical range of the eastern cougar,” said the Service’s Northeast Region Chief of Endangered Species Martin Miller. “However, we believe those cougars are not the eastern cougar subspecies. We found no information to support the existence of the eastern cougar.”
No States expressed a belief in the existence of an eastern cougar population. According to Dr. Mark McCollough, the Service’s lead scientist for the eastern cougar, the subspecies of eastern cougar has likely been extinct since the 1930s.
According to USA Today, the eastern cougar’s historical range extended “from Maine south to Georgia, west into eastern Missouri and eastern Illinois, and north to Michigan and Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, Canada.”
Yet another reminder that extinction is still a very real phenomenon to this day.
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