Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eastern Cougar Delisted from ESA

Yeah, I've been reluctant to post this news because its a blow to any cougar existing in the eastern US. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has found no indication of cougars inhabiting the eastern United States including (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Maine.

SO from here..... we push for reintroduction. Yellowstone did it, why not places in the east with cougars? Virginia is reintroduction elk, how much harder would mountain lions be to reintroduce? Probably not from an ecological standpoint, but from a citizen standpoint, there is much conflict. Chin up everyone, and don't stop believing. I know that I will continue to prove their existence.....

Here is a link to cougar delisting articles...


james yaje said...

I had a dog (a yellow Lab about 100lb,) killed out un the woods about 200 yrds from my back door on4-3-2011. It was partly eaten. It's neck was broken,puncture wounds on the neck,shoulders, back,hips, and head.Tongue was split in two places.I happened about 7am. I live in forsyth county,NC. Any idea what it could have been?

- clark - said...

This is interesting. A cougar kill has bites to the rear of the neck or at the throat to finish the prey off. If the neck was broken where the teeth bit into it, then that is similar to feline. mountain lions usually eat the liver, heart, and lungs first through an opening made in the rib cage. cougar prey items (sadly this time your dog) is most always dragged a short distance after killed, rarely do other predators do this. The most important sign of feline involvement would be if the dog was covered in twigs, grass and dirt when you found him. If not, then it probably isn't feline. WHat you should do is send any photos, measurements of bite marks, or other information to your state or local Department of wildlife.

redjenkins said...

Sorry about your dog dude. As far as the cougar, puma, mountain lion being extinct in the eastern U.S. HA! How can they know? How did they cover every square inch of the woods in all of the fore mentioned states? Not possible. I am currently going out on weekends checking areas where they have been spotted in the past. I am looking in south eastern North Carolina. Nothing yet. Will post when I get them on film. Anyway, just putting in my two cents worth. Again, sorry about your dog. Red

Anonymous said...


I very sorry to hear about your dog. Sad to loose a buddy berore their natural time.


I'm not feeling feeling bad about this decision at all. In fact, I believe it a good one. I have no doubts that the Puma is returning to the east. I've seen their tracks for myself while hunting, and I know many people in my neck of the woods who have both seen and encountered them.

But, I do have doubts they are "Eastern Cougars" for two reasons. First, I think Ms. Culvers research to be good,
and second because experience
with the Florida Panthers shows
that Puma populations less than fifty would genetically collapse.
Any populaton of fifty or more simply wouldn't escape detection for the 130 years, or so(in my region), since extirpation.

Frankly, I believe that several states are aware of nascent populations, but are not forthcoming because of being listed. I suspect things will become very interesting once they are delisted.

The cougar is protected in several eastern states already. They are protected in my state. Further, I don't find that people have a bad attitude about these cats either. In fact, I find most people are excited about the return of the Panther.

Sure, most of the cat running around the east today may be of South American origins, but I see that as a good thing. I surmise the added genetic diversity will only facilitate their survival through the nascent stage.

So, I wouldn't feel so down. Have a little more faith in the strength and resiliancy of these magnificent creatures. They are coming back. They will survive.

Anonymous said...


Sorry to hear you lost your dog. It's hard to lose a buddy before their natural time.


I fail to see how this decision is a "blow to any cougar living on the east coast". They are protected in several eastern states, as they are in mine.
I believe this decision to be a good one.

First of all, Ms. Culver's science is good. Second, the experience with the Florida Panther demonstrated that a population of fifty or less would genetically collapse. Do you really believe that a population of more than fifty Pumas could have escaped discovery for nearly 130 years?
I don't think that is the story here.

I have no doubts cougars have returned to some parts of the east.
I've seen their tracks while hunting, and I know several people who have seen them, as well as, a few who have actually encountered them. It's not a matter of "if" for a lot of us.

Further, I find that most people have quite positive attitudes towards the Cougars, and are quite excited to see them return.

I hold that a few states know Pumas are there, and I believe things are going to get very interesting once the delisting is final.

Additionally, I am not concerned that most of these cougars are of South American origins. I see that as a positive. I see the increased genetic diversity as
a boost to their population surviving the nascent stage it is presently moving through.

I think we should be giving the Panther much more credit than we do. So let's relax and enjoy their return!

I bet I get pictures before you do!....:)

Art said...

I live in Rhode Island and think I saw a mountain lion run accross my driveway this morning when I went out with my my dog. I thought I was seeing things when it was as big as a deer, but it was orangish in color with an orange tail that had white marks througout the long tail. When I looked up eastern cougars on the Internet that was the animal.

tunafush30 said...

I saw a large dark colored wild cat run across HWY 19 in West Virginia today. The tail was way to long to be a bobcat and the coloring was wrong too. It was dark, maybe rust or very dark grey or brown and probably nearer to 30 pounds than 20 and very fast. Also its gait looked much more like that of a wild cat than a domestic cat. Came across your blog while trying to find out what I might have seen.

tunafush30 said...

I saw a very large wild car run across HWY 19 in WV today. It's tail was way to long for a bobcat, it was probably nearer to 30 lbs than 20 and its gait was more like a wild cat than a domestic cat. Its color was a dark brown or rust. Came acrosso your blog trying to identify what it was I saw.

Rick H. said...

I truly believe that there are still cougars in parts of the eastern US. While traveling one time in NC I saw a very large cat run across the road and slip into the bushes next to my car. I was just pulling up to a stoplight in mid afternoon, so I got a good look at it. It was melanistic, almost black in color with thick stout limbs and a distinctly long tail. It stood about 2and a half ft off the ground and was a little over 3ft in length, not including it's tail. Talking to people around the area, I wasn't the only person to have sighted the cat. There have been many other people who claim to have seen a "Black Panther" especially around the Camp Lejune rifle range. In any case, I am a senior in college majoring in biology and I know what I saw was no house cat and not a bobcat...

HemlockMan said...

I'd love to see them reintroduced. There would be resistance from certain groups, most likely NRA and hunters. Sad to say, but most of the other hunters I've met hate predators by rote. They hate wolves, coyotes, cougars and all but froth at the mouth at the mere mention of them. But there's nothing more I'd like to see than at least parts of the eastern woodland ecosystem returned to a near-normal state with big predators and elk and bison, etc.

Anonymous said...

100% saw a big cat which i believe was a cougar. Not a bobcat or deer or pig or bear or dog or..... I grew up in South Georgia and know what a bobcat looks like. The cat I saw was large, solid brownish in color with a long tail. The belly was lighter in color than the back.
It trotted across the lane I was driving down about 25 yards in front of my truck. I got a very good look at it. I can show the exact spot it crossed. It was day time about 1600 hours. I was so shocked I began yelling and immediately stopped and called my wife. I agree with what's been said already. There's no way someone can survey every inch of land and therefore, you can not conclude these cats are extinct. I've emailed the Game commission in North Carolina this morning. I'm now obsessed about proving the large cat exists. Location of siting: Williams acre lane off summer road in Henderson county NC. 1600 hours. Saturday, January 11, 2014.