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 (note, after checking this site more carefully, it looks like it is no longer current.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.

Hunter kills cougar in Iowa!

This was the fifth killed in a decade-

Hunter kills cougar in Iowa. By Bob Eschliman. World-Herald News Service.