Cougars in the USA
American cougars in decline – very interesting interview
In North America, cougars became extirpated from most of the Eastern U.S. and Canada after European colonization. The only resident eastern population is the critically endangered Florida panther which occupies only five percent of its historic range and numbers just 50-100 individuals. Many states and provinces in the western portions of the U.S. and Canada have resident cougar populations, and all except California and the Yukon allow hunting. However, most have enacted certain protection measures. The lone exception is Texas, where hunting of the cats in largely unregulated. The state groups cougars with ticks and pigeons as “nuisance wildlife”, and allows anyone with a hunting or trapping permit to kill a cougar regardless of sex, size, or age.
There have been widely debated reports of possible recolonization of eastern North America. DNA evidence has suggested its presence in eastern North America,while a consolidated map of cougar sightings shows numerous reports, from the mid-western Great Plains through to Eastern Canada. The Quebec wildlife services (known locally as MRNF) also considers Cougar to be present in the province as a threatened species after multiple DNA tests confirmed cougar hair in Lynx mating sites. The only unequivocally known eastern population is the Florida panther, which is critically endangered. There have also been sightings in Elliotsville, Maine (in the central part of the state); and in New Hampshire, there have been recent sightings as early as 1997. In 2009, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed a cougar sighting in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.Typically, extreme-range sightings of cougars involve young males, who can travel great distances to establish ranges away from established males; all four confirmed cougar kills in Iowa since 2000 involved males On April 14, 2008 police shot and killed a cougar on the north side of Chicago, Illinois. DNA tests were consistent with cougars from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Less than one year later, on March 5, 2009, a cougar was photographed and unsuccessfully tranquilized by state wildlife biologists in a tree near Spooner, Wisconsin in the northwestern part of the state
Mountain Lion Foundation — Saving America’s Lion THE MOUNTAIN LION FOUNDATION is a national nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to increasing understanding of and protection for mountain lions and their habitat.
The Cougar Fund — Protecting America’s Greatest Cat The Cougar Fund protects the cougar (also known as a mountain lion, puma or panther) throughout the Americas by educating children and adults on the value of mountain lions, by funding and promoting the use of sound science, and by monitoring state policies to assure a lasting place for this graceful creature.
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