Friday, 26 June 2015

'Endangered' Cougar Has Likely Been Extinct for 70 Years

by Elizabeth Howell, Live Science Contributor | June 24, 2015 07:50am ET

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is planning to remove the eastern cougar from the endangered species list after determining the subspecies has likely been extinct for 70 years.

The proposal comes after a formal review of the subspecies' status that concluded in 2011. Wildlife officials looked at more than 100 reports (going back to 1900) and found that recent "sightings" of the eastern cougar were actually of Florida panthers, wild western cougars or other cougars that escaped from captivity or were released.

The FWS also looked at available historical and scientific studies, and consulted experts in 21 U.S. states and some eastern Canadian provinces.

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