I know I haven’t posted much about the existence of cougars in Virginia. There has been a lull of news in the scheme of things, as the entire Eastern Cougar Foundation has changed direction and focus.
This fact alone has really dampened my spirits, as I really wanted to help prove their existence, but in some ways it has prompted me to try harder to find one. I feel as if the time window is closing and it is important to find a cougar before it doesn’t matter as much. The fact is that there have been more developments in DNA evidence to prove the origin of cougars in North America.
From an arctile in the new Cougar Rewiliding Foundation, (formerly known as the eastern cougar foundation) “Dr. Melanie Culver’s genetic research determined that all of the wild cougars north of Central America are the same subspecies, the idea of an eastern cougar had been rendered moot scientifically. And ECF may prove to be a hurdle in recruiting new members in regions not associated with the East.” CRF Newsletter July, 2010.
To put a damper on the subject, this finding in the DNA suggests that cougars in North America may be but one genetic family, so trying to distinguish an eastern subspecies would be moot.