Sunday, March 6, 2011

Federal agency official declares that the Eastern Cougar species is extinct - 2nd Mar 2011

** The last known eastern cougar was trapped in Maine in 1938. It was mounted for display and is seen in this undated photo with wildlife biologist Bruce Wright.
The eastern cougar, a large and elusive tawny wild cat that once prowled over wilderness in 21 states, is now extinct, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Wednesday.

Experts had long questioned the cougar's existence. Though it has been on the endangered species list since 1973, the animal likely has been extinct since the 1930s, said Dr. Mark McCollough, a senior scientist with the FWS.

Federal researchers had been studying whether the eastern cougar was present in the 21 states where it had a historical range.

"(Researchers) found no information to support the existence of the eastern cougar," said Martin Miller, the FWS Northeast head of endangered species. Read More