Comments sought on eastern cougar


(Note: "Eastern" cougar. "Florida" panther. "Western" cougar. They are all the same, which makes this entire dog and pony show just that. Major Language Deception awaits the reader. Additional contact information has been bracketed into the article, with considerable additional related research below. My brief comments -- 160 words -- are the last item below. The reader is encouraged to use them in part or in their entirety, if they should be found inspirational. Comment to: easterncougar@fws.gov Information must be received by March 30, 2007, for the status review, although the Service will continue to accept new information about eastern cougars at any time.)

 

February 28, 2007


Contact: Diana Weaver diana_e_weaver@fws.gov or 413-253-8329; Fax: 413-253-8456  


Catamount, puma, painter, panther, mountain lion are just some of the names given to a large, but elusive, will-o'-the-wisp cat that once haunted ... or perhaps still haunts ... the forests of the eastern United States and Canada. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is beginning a review of scientific and commercial information to determine the status of the endangered eastern cougar, the first review the Service has done since publishing a recovery plan in 1982. The Service placed the eastern cougar on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in 1973.

"We will compile and evaluate scientific evidence to help us understand the status of the eastern cougar and to determine what future actions the Service should take," said Martin Miller [martin_miller@fws.gov or 413-253-8647; Fax: 413-253-8482], chief of endangered species for the Service's Northeast Region.

As part of the review, the Service is seeking information on the status of the eastern cougar in the 21 states -- from Maine to South Carolina and west from Michigan to Tennessee -- where the Endangered Species Act protects it. Lacking definitive evidence of the species' existence, the Service has presumed the eastern cougar to be extinct. It is improbable that a small cougar population persisted in the eastern states for over a century. Most of the confirmed cougar records since 1950 (animals killed, good quality photos/videos, genetic evidence) are known to be escapes of captive origin.  There may be thousands of captive cougars in the eastern United States.

"An important part of the Service's review will be to compile the best available scientific evidence and objectively assess whether the eastern cougar is truly extinct," said Mark McCollough [mark_mccollough@fws.gov or 207-827-5938; Fax: 207-827-6099], endangered species biologist in the Service's Northeast Region. McCollough and other Service staff will prepare the status review. 

Anyone wishing to submit information regarding the eastern cougar may do so by writing to:
 

Eastern Cougar / Northeast Regional Office

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

300 Westgate Center Drive

Hadley, Massachusetts 01035

 

or by email to easterncougar@fws.gov Information must be received by March 30, 2007, for the status review, although the Service will continue to accept new information about eastern cougars at any time.

The Service announced the eastern cougar status review in the "Federal Register" on January 29, 2007. To assist with the review, the Service contacted state fish and wildlife agencies in states and Canadian provinces where the cougar is thought to have lived and requested information related to cougar status, protection, threats, laws about captivity, and habitats where cougars could persist. 

The Endangered Species Act requires a review every five years of all protected species. However, limited resources and higher priorities have postponed the review for the Eastern cougar until now.

For additional information on the eastern cougar, see http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ECougar Information on the Service's endangered species program may be found at http://www.fws.gov/endangered

Sidebar

The eastern cougar was one of the first wildlife casualties of European settlement. It ranged throughout the East as a top predator in an ecosystem that supported abundant white-tailed deer, woodland bison and the eastern elk. Early settlers quickly exterminated the bison and elk and nearly eliminated the deer, the primary prey of cougars. Furthermore, they systematically shot, trapped and poisoned cougars because the big cats competed with settlers for large game animals, and because they occasionally killed livestock. 

Agriculture, settlements and cities transformed the eastern forest. By 1846, naturalist John James Audubon wrote, "the animal, which has excited so much terror in the minds of the ignorant and timid, has been nearly exterminated in all our Atlantic states, and we do not recollect a single well-authenticated instance where any hunter's life fell sacrifice to a Cougar hunt." 

Cougar reports had begun fading by 1891 when Frederick True wrote that the big cats had been eradicated from nearly all eastern states and as far west as Indiana and "it is improbable that even stragglers could be found at the present day." 

But did eastern cougars go extinct? Reports of this ghost cat continued through the 20th century. Florida panthers, a cougar population protected as an endangered subspecies, are the focus of a Service recovery effort. Rumors abound that small populations of cougars may have persisted in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, the Adirondacks, Maine or eastern Canada. 

The eastern cougar subspecies Puma concolor couguar was described in 1946 on scant evidence from measurements taken from museum specimens of just eight cougar skulls from three Mid-Atlantic States. The historical range of the eastern cougar was a guess, but stands to this day. Based on this evidence, the eastern cougar was one of the first species added to the federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife. 

Cougar enthusiasts believe the big cat has returned in the East or never was completely eradicated. Verified cougar reports include a road-killed kitten in Kentucky in 1997, a cougar killed and another captured in West Virginia in 1976, scat from Massachusetts in 1997, and others. Videos, photos and other evidence of cougars exist. The public, including wildlife biologists, have reported thousands of unverified sightings. 

Wildlife biologists believe the cats sighted could be cougars once held as pets and then released, or they could be transient animals from the West or Canada. It is improbable that a remnant, reproducing population of eastern cougars persisted for the last 100 years. However, the status review will examine each of these possibilities.

The validity of the eastern cougar as a subspecies is in question. Recent research by *Melanie Culver, Ph.D. [culver@ag.arizona.edu or 520-977-2831], at the University of Maryland indicates that the eastern cougar is not genetically unique and suggests that all North American cougars could be categorized as a single subspecies. These new analyses will be considered in the Service's status review.


http://www.fws.gov/news/NewsReleases/showNews.cfm?newsId=0A18734E-C6A7-8977-80E51EC6CB8FFC73

 


Related reading:

 

 

USFWS Begins Review of Mountain Lion Status in East
 

March 1, 2007


Release #023-07


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe [croe@state.pa.us or 717-783-6526] today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is beginning a review of scientific and commercial information to determine the status of the endangered eastern cougar, the first review the Service has done since publishing a recovery plan in 1982.
   
As part of the process, the USFWS has requested that anyone wishing to submit information regarding the eastern cougar may do so by writing to: Eastern Cougar, Northeast Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035. Comments also may be submitted via e-mail to easterncougar@fws.gov
   
Information must be received for the state review by the USFWS by March 30, 2007, although the Service will continue to accept new information about eastern cougars at any time.
   
The USFWS placed the eastern cougar on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in 1973. The last known Pennsylvania native mountain lion was killed in Berks County in 1874.
   
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to compile and evaluate scientific evidence to understand the status of the eastern cougar and to determine what future actions the Service should take," Roe said. "We receive alleged sighting reports from various places in the state, and we encourage Pennsylvanians to direct their comments to the USFWS."
   
As part of the review, the USFWS is seeking information on the status of the eastern cougar in the 21 states -- from Maine to South Carolina and westward from Michigan to Tennessee -- where the Endangered Species Act protects it. Lacking definitive evidence of the species' existence, the Service has presumed the eastern cougar to be extinct. According to the USFWS, it is improbable that a small cougar population persisted in the eastern states for over a century. Most of the confirmed cougar records since 1950 (animals killed, good quality photos/videos, genetic evidence) are known to be escapes of captive origin. There may be thousands of captive cougars in the eastern United States.
   
"An important part of the Service's review will be to compile the best available scientific evidence and objectively assess whether the eastern cougar is truly extinct," said Mark McCollough [mark_mccollough@fws.gov or 207-827-5938; Fax: 207-827-6099], endangered species biologist in the Service's Northeast Region. McCollough and other Service staff will prepare the status review.
   
The Service announced the eastern cougar status review in the "Federal Register" on January 29, 2007. To assist with the review, the Service contacted state fish and wildlife agencies in states and Canadian provinces where the cougar is thought to have lived and requested information related to cougar status, protection, threats, laws about captivity, and habitats where cougars could persist.
   
The Endangered Species Act requires a review every five years of all protected species. However, limited resources and higher priorities have postponed the review for the Eastern cougar until now.
   
For additional information on the eastern cougar, see http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ECougar. Information on the USFWS' endangered species program may be found at http://www.fws.gov/endangered.
   
To be certain, Roe stressed that this review process is not an effort to introduce mountain lions into Pennsylvania.
   
"The Game Commission has long been opposed to any initiative -- public or private -- to reintroduce mountain lions into the Commonwealth," Roe said. "Such a reintroduction effort would not be feasible in the state, and would not be something acceptable to most citizens, given that there are few areas of the Commonwealth without established communities. Also, such introductions, given the human population density, would not be in the best interest of the animals released.
   
"However, over the years, mountain lion sightings have been reported throughout the state. The overwhelming majority of cases we investigate are proven to be mistaken identity based on examination of tracks, photos or other physical evidence," Roe said. "Some cases are inconclusive.
   
"And, while some believe mountain lions exist in the wilds of Pennsylvania, we have no conclusive evidence to support such views. However, if someone does encounter a mountain lion, the most logical explanation would be that the animal escaped from or was released by someone who either legally or illegally brought the animal into Pennsylvania."
   
To demonstrate his point, Roe noted that the agency has prosecuted individuals for illegal possession on mountain lions and other exotic wildlife in recent years. In 2002, a 24-year-old Dauphin County resident, was found guilty of illegally possessing a western cougar, and was ordered to pay a $300 fine.
   
"At the time the animal was confiscated, the seven-month old female weighed 40 pounds, and had not been spayed or de-clawed," Roe said. "According to purchase records obtained as part of the investigation, the cougar had been purchased on November 1, 2001, from a facility in Virginia. However, the owner failed to obtain the proper permit from the Game
Commission and did not comply with secure caging requirements stipulated by the agency.
   
"While state law permits Pennsylvanians to possess certain exotic animals, the law also requires that such individuals adhere to specific permit and caging regulations established by the Game Commission in order to ensure public health and safety, as well as the animal's health and welfare." Roe noted that the agency also has received reports of other
exotic animals being found throughout Pennsylvania, such as a binturong found on a Beaver County family's porch in 2002; an African serval, resembling a small cheetah, which had been illegally possessed and escaped from its Pittsburgh owner several times before being confiscated in 2001; and two wallabies that escaped from their owners in Ambler in 2001.
   
"There are hundreds of Pennsylvanians who legally possess exotic wildlife and follow all of the rules and regulations regarding public health and safety, as well as the health and welfare of the animal," Roe said. "However, there also are those who bring these types of animals into the state illegally and fail to follow the regulations. It is this group of individuals who cause us the greatest concern."
   
Roe encouraged Pennsylvanians to contact the Game Commission region office nearest them to report information about exotic wildlife that may be illegally possessed or improperly caged. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
   
Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs.
   
The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals
derived from State Game Lands.
   
Note to Editors: If you would like to receive Game Commission news releases via e-mail, please send a note with your name, address, telephone number and the name of the organization you represent to: pgcnews@state.pa.us 
   
For information contact: Jerry Feaser, 717-705-6541 or pgcnews@state.pa.us 


http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?Q=171356&A=11

 

http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a=11&Q=171356 

 

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Field Evidence  of Cougars in the East

 

Undated


[By] Chris Bolgiano, Adjunct Professor, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807; Environmental Author and Vice President, Eastern Cougar Foundation, Fulks Run, Virginia 22830. 

Abstract: Confirmed physical field evidence of cougars living wild in several regions of eastern North America is beginning to accumulate.  We have documented twelve instances in which various items of field evidence have been confirmed by biologists. The geographic range of these incidents is New Brunswick, Canada to Missouri, and the date range is 1976 to 2000. Each case entails consideration of significant details, including the history of cougars in the local area, the circumstances of local habitat and prey, evidence of reproduction, credentials of confirming biologists and the possibility of fraud.

Possible sources of these animals include remnant natives, escaped or released captives, and colonizers from known cougar populations in Florida and Texas. Since spring of 1998 at least 3 radio-collared Florida panthers have crossed north of the Caloosahatchee River for the first time since fieldwork began 20 years ago. The potential for reestablishment of a viable breeding population is more likely to be limited by human intolerance than biological constraints, especially in rural communities near public lands. An ecological benefit of a cougar population in the east might be to return an evolutionary selection force and population check on over-abundant deer. Outdoor recreationists and hunters are also likely to express interest in cougars.

Introduction

Native eastern cougars were believed extirpated throughout the east by the 1940s, but a growing number of sightings prompted the listing of Felis concolor couguar on the 1973 Endangered Species List (Bolgiano, 1995). A field survey in the southern Appalachians by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), however, failed to find conclusive evidence of cougars by the early 1980s, although a small number of possible deer kills, scrapes, and scats were identified. (Downing, 1981).

Confirmed field evidence began to accumulate in the 1990s. The presence of at least a few individuals living wild in the east is now acknowledged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Jamie Rappaport Clark, 2000). Issues of legal status, population viability, habitat management, and human acceptance are emerging. The Eastern Cougar Foundation (ECF), a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded by independent researcher Todd Lester in West Virginia in 1998 to compile the accumulating evidence, and to work on these issues.

The ECF Board of Directors includes David Maehr, former leader of Florida panther field research; Donald Linzey, mammologist for the All-Taxa Biodiversity Survey in Great Smokies Mountains National Park; Melanie Culver, cougar geneticist; and Sue Morse, who gave the keynote address at the Third Mountain Lion Workshop in Prescott, Arizona, in 1988.

Methods of Collection Data

Todd Lester of West Virginia and Donald Linzey of Virginia have for many years passed out flyers asking people to call them if a cougar was seen, so communication networks were already established. Todd Lester expanded them through an eastern cougar web site and a listserv, which at times has included well over 100 people from South America to Alaska. Lester and Linzey standardized the procedures they use to narrow the large volume of sightings to the small percentage of credible prospects (Miller, 1998).  For those within a day's drive, they conduct field searches for hard evidence and scrutinize evidence collected by others. For more distance cases, one or more of us investigates through phone and email interviews. Written confirmation from recognized authorities is the only validation we accept. Melanie Culver at Virginia Tech tests samples and validates tests conducted by others.

Results

Over the past two years we have compiled one dozen confirmed incidents from Ontario to North Carolina, some of them representing clusters of cougar activity (copies of any or all documentations are available from the ECF for the cost of photocopying and postage). Cases are categorized by type of evidence.

In July of 2000, a cougar was killed by a train in western Randolph County, Illinois, near the Mississippi River and the Shawnee National Forest. A necropsy by Alan Woolf of the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois University found a normal, healthy male aged 4 to 6 years belonging to the North American genotype, with normal claws, stomach contents of 100% fawn, and no tattoos. Most captive cougars are declawed and/or have tattoos.

In 1998, a cougar pelt was found along a road in Texas County, Missouri, near the Mark Twain National Forest and approximately 125 air miles west of the Illinois site. It is believed to be from a cougar that was treed and killed by rabbit hunters in 1994, the first cougar killed in Missouri since 1927. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) uncovered a photo of the dead cat and successfully prosecuted two hunters, who admitted dumping the pelt. Gary Cravens of the Missouri DNR determined from witnesses that the hunted cougar had long, sharp claws and no tattoos. Genetic analysis of the pelt indicated a North American genotype. In addition, in the same general area, a video of a cougar was made by DNR agent Jerry Elliott in 1996, and two deer kills were confirmed as cougar kills by the DNR in 1998.

In 1976, a male cougar was killed while killing sheep and a pregnant female was captured two days later in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The dead cougar was pictured in the local paper with West Virginia DNR officer Larry Guthrie. The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Center in Georgia found a parasite associated with captive cougars, and the animals were said to show no fear of humans. Through correspondence, the USFWS advised the West Virginia DNR to release the pregnant female in the Cranberry Glades Wilderness Area, but the West Virginia DNR asked the USFWS to come get the cougar because they didn't want her, and no further documentation exists on the actual outcome (Lester, 1999).

There are four cases of scats:

In 1994, a scat recovered by agents of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department near Craftsbury in north-central Vermont was sent to the USFWS Forensics Lab in Ashland, OR, where cougar foot hairs were found in it. These are presumed ingested during self grooming. The sighting that prompted the search involved three cougars, and three sets of tracks were found, which could indicate a family group.

In 1997, a scat collected in central Massachusetts by John McCarter, a staff member of the Paul Rezendes Tracking School, was sent to George Amato of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York. DNA tests indicated cougar, a finding confirmed by Melanie Culver, who also found that the animal was of the North American genotype. The large, wild Quahbin Reservoir area of central MA has for many years been a locus of cougar sightings.

In 1992 in central New Brunswick, Canada, Provincial wildlife biologist Rod Cumberland documented tracks and collected a scat that was analyzed by the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa and found to contain showshoe hair bones and foot and leg hairs of cougar.

In 1999 in Ontario, Canada, Provincial wildlife biologist Lil Anderson collected a scat that was sent to the Alberta Natural Resources Service forensics lab in Edmonton for thin layer chromatography and found to be cougar.

There are three cases of tracks:

In 1990 in southwestern VA, Donald Linzey collected photos and cement casts of tracks that he confirmed as cougar. This is approximately 140 air miles from an incident in Russell County, Virginia, in 1997, in which 25 goats were killed by an alleged cougar (not confirmed), and where personnel of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reported two separate cougar sightings, one of which included a kitten.

In 1994 in northwestern Maine, approximately 150 air miles east of the confirmed New Brunswick site, two game wardens investigated a sighting of three cats near the St. Johns River and found tracks which they officially reported as cougar to Richard Hoppe, wildlife biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

In 1996 in southern West Virginia, approximately 100 air miles from the confirmed tracks in Virginia, Todd Lester made plaster casts of tracks that were confirmed by Lee Fitzhugh of the Extension Wildlife Service at University of California, Davis, and by David Maehr. This is an area with a long history of cougar sightings and deer kills thought to be cougar.

There are two videos:

In the early 1990s in the western mountains of Maryland, a home video obtained and verified by Leslie Johnston, District Wildlife Manager of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, who made it available to Maryland public TV, where it was shown many times, and to various biologists' meetings. There's no question the animal is a cougar.

In 1991 in North Carolina, just east of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a home video was obtained and verified by Donald Linzey. The Great Smoky Mountains was one of the areas that Bob Downing, who did the USFWS field survey mentioned earlier, felt could have supported native cougars through the twentieth century, because roughly 20% of the park's 500,000 acres was never logged and remained an undisturbed refuge.

Discussions

Fail-safe chain of custody documentation for all evidence is impossible, and it is possible than one or a few incidents are forgeries. But it is unlikely that all of them have been. Questions are shifting to:

1) whether these are escaped or released animals other than the native eastern cougar or Florida panther subspecies (Puma concolor couguar and Puma concolor coryi, the only ones listed in the Endangered Species Act); and

2) whether these are individual, transient animals or a breeding population(s). The answer to the first question may never be resolved, because it appears to be impossible to define a genetic profile for that subspecies, at least with present technology, and perhaps more importantly because of the extremely small sample size of known eastern cougars. (Culver, 1999).

In addition to remnant natives and escaped/released captives, a third possible source is colonizers from known cougar populations in Florida, Texas, and Montana, and suspected populations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (Anderson, 1983; Wrigley, 1982). Since spring of 1998, at least three radio-collared Florida panthers have crossed north of the Caloosahatchee River west of Lake Okeechobee for the first time since fieldwork began twenty years ago (Maehr, 2000). There is also evidence of increasing cougar activity in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and other areas of the west that could indicate that cougars are reclaiming former ranges or even expanding into new areas (Henderson, 1992; Duggan, 2000; Pike, 1999).

The 1994 Vermont confirmation involved a possible family group, and New England, especially Maine, continues to report sightings of mothers with kittens, some with field evidence awaiting confirmation. Although there are concerns about development of the North Woods, at present there is a substantial amount of wild land there.

Conclusion

Given the well-known regrowth of forest cover and resurgence of deer herds across the east, it's likely that human rather than biological constraints will limit the establishment of viable cougar populations.  There is a potentially strong positive public reaction to the animals.  Fifty-six conservation groups across the east came together to endorse the recent ECF request that the USFWS expand the Similarity of Appearances rule of the ESA from Florida throughout the east (Lester 2000). That request was denied pending documentation of a breeding population.

If viable cougar populations with their potential for depredations are to be tolerated,  much educational outreach remains to be done in rural communities, especially around public lands. It may be possible to persuade hunters to accept cougar competition for deer, and simultaneously to reduce the possibilities of cougar attacks on humans and livestock, by allowing non-consumptive chasing with dogs in restricted areas as a means of aversive conditioning (Hebert, 1996). There may also be possibilities for future ecotourism. Most importantly, a viable cougar population would return a native predator and offer ecosystem benefits such as an evolutionary selection force and population check on currently over-abundant deer.

Bibliography

Anderson, Allen E. 1983. A critical review of literature on puma (Felis concolor). Special report no. 54. Colorado Division of Wildlife. 91 pp.

Bolgiano, Chris. 1995. Mountain lion: an unnatural history of pumas and people. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books. 209 pp.

Brocke, Rainer H. and Fred G. VanDyke. 19?? "Eastern cougars: the verifiability of the presence of isolated individuals versus populations (comment on Downing, Cryptozoology, 3:31-49, 1984)." Cryptozoology vol.?:102-105.

Clark, Jamie R., Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 2000. Letter of June 21 to the Eastern Cougar Foundation. 1 p.

Culbertson, Nicole. 1976. Status and history of the mountain lion in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Research/Resources Management Report no. 15. Gatlinburg, Tennessee: National Park Service Southeast Region, Uplands Field Research Laboratory, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
51 pp.

Culver, Melanie. 1999. Molecular genetic variation, population structure, and natural history of free-ranging pumas (Puma concolor). Dissertation. College Park, Maryland: University of Maryland. 225 pp.

Downing, Robert L. 1981. "The current status of the cougar in the Southern Appalachian [sic]." In: Proceedings of The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Symposium, Athens, Georgia, August 13-14.

Downing, Robert L. 1984. "The search for cougars in the eastern United States." Cryptozoology 3: 31-49.

Duggan, Joe. 2000. "Examinations reveals [sic] shot cat was healthy," Lincoln Journal Star [Nebraska] November 2. 1 p.

Hebert, D. and L. Lay. 1997. "Cougar-human interactions in British Columbia." In: Proceedings of the fifth Mountain Lion Workshop, 27 Feb.-1 March, 1996, p. 44-45. Southern California Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Henderson, F. Robert. 1992. Update: Puma in Kansas? Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service. 22 pp.

Lester, Todd. 2000. Letter to Jamie Clark, Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Lester, Todd. 1999. Personal communication concerning copies of letters received from the USFWS in response to his FOIA request for information about the 1976 pregnant WV cougar.

Linzey, Donald W. 1999. "Cougars in the Southern Appalachians." In:  Proceedings of the New River Symposium, April 15-16, Boone, North Carolina, p. 10-15.

Maehr, David S. 2000. Personal communication.

McBride, Roy T., et al. 1993. "Do mountain lions exist in Arkansas?" In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern fish and Wildlife Agencies 47:394-402.

Miller, Janet. 1998. Evidence for an eastern cougar reassessment. M.S. Thesis. Oxford, Ohio: Miami University.

Nowak, Ronald M. 1976. The cougar in the United States and Canada. New York Zoological Society and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Pike, Jason R., et al. 1999. "A geographic analysis of the status of mountain lions in Oklahoma," Wildlife Society Bulletin 27(1): 4-10.

Roof, Jayde C., and David S. Maehr. 1988. "Sign surveys for Florida panthers on peripheral areas of their known range." Florida Field Naturalist 16(4): 81-104.

Taverna, Kristin, et al. 1999. Eastern Cougar (Puma concolor couguar): Habitat suitability analysis for the central Appalachians. Charlottesville, Virginia: Appalachian Restoration Campaign. 23 pp. http://www.heartwood.org/arc

Tischendorf, Jay W. and Steven J. Ropski, eds. 1994. Proceedings of the Eastern Cougar Conference, Gannon University, Erie, PA, June 3-5. Ft. Collins, Colorado: American Ecological Research Institute. 245 pp.

Wrigley, Robert E., and Robert W. Nero. 1982. Manitoba's big cat:  the story of the cougar in Manitoba. Winnipeg: Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature.

Young, Stanley P., and Edward A. Goldman. 1946. The puma, mysterious American cat. Washington, D.C.: American Wildlife Institute. 358 pp.


No copyright located at originating website address/URL below.

http://www.magicalliance.org/Cougar/Evidence%20of%20Cougar.htm 

 

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*Melanie Culver, The University of Arizona School of Renewable Natural Resources, Bio Sciences East, Tucson, Arizona 85721. culver@ag.arizona.edu or 520-977-2831 w / 520-743-2374 h. Assistant Professor, Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences. Assistant Unit Leader, Arizona Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit. Specialities: Conservation Genetics, Population Genetics, Molecular Systematics, and Molecular Ecology. Source: http://www.ag.arizona.edu/srnr/research/coop/azfwru/melanie/ 2003: (Post-Doctorate in Wildlife Genetics on Pumas, Bears, Eagles, etc.  Currently Assistant Leader, Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit) 

 

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WDC002: Management of the Mexican Wolf

November 7, 2006

http://nimss.umd.edu/homepages/saes.cfm?trackID=7276 

 

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My Official "Eastern Cougar" Public Comments
 
 
To: easterncougar@fws.gov 
 
BCC: Let your imagination run wild!
 
From: propertyrights@earthlink.net 
 
Miss Julie K. Smithson
 
213 Thorn Locust Lane
 
London, Ohio 43140
 
 
This entire email, including headers, is to be construed and accepted as my official "eastern cougar" public comments.
 
First, there is no species called the "eastern cougar."
 
A cougar is a puma is a catamount is a mountain lion is a cougar.
 
There is no difference, and therefore, no such thing as an "eastern" cougar any more than a "Florida" panther.
 
This entire U.S. Fish & Wildlife "Service" charade is based upon a false premise.
 
It appears to be motivated, not by any concern for "endangered" species, but rather for the control over land that can be engineered by said false premise.
 
The entire "eastern cougar" hogwash must immediately cease, never again to rear its head.
 
All those involved in such a sham should be ashamed, at the very least.
 
The lawbreaking going on to put such schemes before the public, as though the "plans" were valid, is surely with malice aforethought and may be criminal.
 
That's all; nothing else.