Attempt to restore hound hunting of cougar in Oregon fails

Oregon legislature fails to resurrect hunting practice banned by Oregon voters in 1994-

Cougar hunting bill dies in Senate committee. Ashland Daily Tidings.

Cougar hunting interests say they will try again in 2012.

Lincoln Journal-Star: Nebraska mountain lions . . . wild, rare and beautiful

 A fine editorial as cougar increasingly reinhabit the Cornhusker state-

Wild, rare and beautiful. Editorial in the Lincoln (NB) Journal-Star

Idaho Fish and Game looking for culprit who shot lion north of Rexburg

Cougar wanders through ag country and is illegally shot-

Fish and Game looking for culprit who shot lion. Rexburg Standard Journal. By Joyce Edlefsen.

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Call of the cougar long gone from the East

A followup article to the one about the Eastern cougar declared extinct-

Call of the cougar long gone from the East. Big cats extinct despite reports of sightings, federal officials say. By Brian Nearing. Times Union Staff Writer, OR not

The Eastern Cougar: Dead or Alive? By Felicity Barringer. New York Times.
Eastern catamount may be extinct, but they’re still very much with us. By Tim Johnson, Burlington Free Press Staff Writer

For those who want to track the restoration of the cougar The Cougar Network is a website with a sightings map right on the front page. The Cougar Network shows one confirmed sighting that is clearly in the East. (note, after checking this site more carefully, it looks like it is no longer current. . . RM). There is some useful information.

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Eastern cougar is officially extinct, government says

However, turns out there never was such an animal distinct from the Western cougar-

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week said  the eastern cougar was extinct, and said it should be taken off the endangered species.

However, it turns out most think the Eastern cougar was a distinction that made no difference because there never was a kind of cougar or mountain lion in the East any different from the increasingly common cougar of the Western United States which is reclaiming its territory in the Midwest and the East at a pretty good rate.

The debate between “lumpers” and “splitters” has been common among biologists studying species and sub-species.  A lumper would say the so-called “eastern cougar never did differ significantly from other cougar in the United States.  A similar controversy has of course been part of the restoration of the gray wolf to the Western United States, the Great Lakes and the red wolf of the Carolinas. The latter is very similar to the wolves of eastern Canada in Quebec Province.

U.S. Declares Eastern Cougar Extinct, With an Asterisk. By Felicity Barringer. New York Times.

Rare photo shows 8 cougars on Washington state game trail

Unusual proximity of so many mountain lions probably possible because of familial relationships-

Several factors probably explain how 8 cougars, very territorial animals, came together to feed on a dead cow on a cliff near Soap Lake, Washington.  The first is that it is winter. Prey are concentrated into a small area and in this case most of the cougars were probably closlely related (both indicated in the article).  It isn’t know how often this happens, but it is probably uncommon.

We saw these photos about 2 weeks ago.  Wish we had permission to be the first to post them.

Rare photo shows 8 cougars on game trail. “Using a camera triggered by a motion-sensor device, a hunter captured a rare sight: eight cougars huddled together on an Eastern Washington trail as if attending some big-cat block party.” By Craig Welch. Seattle Times environment reporter

Can Vladimir Putin save endangered tigers?

Russian leader gives big boost to the International Tiger Forum-

Vladimir Putin has been making quite a name for himself in recent years as a man of outdoor activity, and one not afraid of large carnivores. He hopes to save the tiger from extinction. The International Tiger Forum hopes to raise an astonishing $350-million for tiger conservation with his help and others such as head of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick.

Perhaps the weenies of the West (politicians in the interior Western United States) might emulate him when it comes to powerful impressive animals.

Can Vladimir Putin save endangered tigers? The Week

The article above says Russia sees the tiger as a symbol of national strength.  Around here it seems to be the cow, or, more likely, the sheep.

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Update: Russia, China pledge to save the tiger. By Alissa de Carbonnel. News Daily