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Eastern Puma Officially Declared Extinct

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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 01:53   #1
Chosun Juan
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Unhappy Eastern Puma Officially Declared Extinct

http://www.thescinewsreporter.com/20...Ar6La_A5sU&m=1




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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 11:06   #2
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God that's sad
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 15:15   #3
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Bit of a non-story - genetic evidence has shown that the Eastern and Western (and Florida) Pumas are all just one subspecies.
Oh, and note that the linked story is from 2009, ten years ago!
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 15:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Bit of a non-story - genetic evidence has shown that the Eastern and Western (and Florida) Pumas are all just one subspecies. Oh, and note that the linked story is from 2009, ten years ago!
Even if were one subspecies, an entire population of this cat has been lost - hardly a non-story.

Additionally, the news itself is not from ten years ago - though the cats have been thought extinct for a long period, the move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is just last year (here)
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 16:56   #5
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Unhappy

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Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
God that's sad
Yes, it is so terribly sad .......

They are such beautiful creatures :)

Surprising to read that a government department had 'effectively' just given up ......

If there truly is so little genetic difference, perhaps there is hope to reintroduce them from South Eastern Canadian populations (themselves hard, if not equally as impossible, to verify), or maybe by cross breeding with Western populations from suitable climates /environments ....
https://naturecanada.ca/discover-nat...astern-cougar/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/relay.n...on-extinct-spd

US FWS information page (followed on from Jos's link)
https://www.fws.gov/northeast/ecougar/index.html




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Last edited by Chosun Juan : Sunday 10th February 2019 at 17:05. Reason: US FWS information page
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 17:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
Even if were one subspecies, an entire population of this cat has been lost - hardly a non-story.
Yep, that's true, though natural recolonisation is occurring slowly, by animals moving in from the west, and/or escaped 'pets'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
Additionally, the news itself is not from ten years ago - though the cats have been thought extinct for a long period, the move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is just a couple of weeks ago (here)
It said '2009' at the top of the page on the link (can't double-check; Chosun's link isn't working just now).
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 00:53   #7
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Exclamation

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Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
......It said '2009' at the top of the page on the link (can't double-check; Chosun's link isn't working just now).
How bizarre! the link to the original blog post has disappeared and a quick search through the site couldn't reveal the article.

Regardless, Jos has it (mostly - it was actually 2018) right, and it was in fact recent(ish) news. I believe that the notice was issued on 23/01/2018 and became effective 30 days after it appeared on the Federal Register - 22/02/2018:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-insp...2018-01127.pdf

This was sourced via a link in the following article:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...lared-extinct/

The US FWS timeline link that I posted above is also an informative read on the process:
https://www.fws.gov/northeast/ecougar/index.html

It's still sad, and any individuals or small populations struggling to survive in SE Canada (or if any do turn up in NE USA) may be subject to a lack of breeding genetic diversity. My understanding is that in the wild, between Wolves and Bears, Cougars have a helluva hard enough time as it is surviving, thriving, and breeding (I'm not sure if that is to the same extent for the Eastern populations and the competitor species and sub-species that are [would have been] found there) ...... and that's before throwing Man into the mix who tends to apply pressure and squeeze environmentally more segmented species together .......




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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 01:30   #8
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Yep - dangerous for them in the eastern USA; the main 'predators' are fast traffic, and idiots with guns
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 02:09   #9
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I'm not seeing proof of 'idiots with guns' as influential as it relates to the demise of the Florida panther, which isn't extinct. The numbers are very low however.
'Road kill' appears to be the major factor. Really unfortunate.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...s-on-4-wheels/
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 04:49   #10
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From the very same Scientific American blog (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...red-extinct/):

Quote:
Eastern cougars—also known as “ghost cats,” catamounts, panthers and, of course, mountain lions — disappeared after decades of overhunting on multiple fronts. The large predators were seen as threats to livestock, which resulted in the cats being actively hunted and bounties placed on their heads.
Quote:
On top of that, the cats also ran out of their primary prey, deer, which were themselves hunted into near-extinction. “White-tailed deer were nearly eradicated from the eastern U.S. in the late 1800s,” Service biologist Mark McCollough told me in 2011. “The few cougars that survived [after that] would have had very little food to support them.”
Thus, it seems guns, and idiots holding them, are to blame here, after all.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 19:25   #11
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Nutcracker's quote is "the main 'predators' are fast traffic, and idiots with guns"...

I'm referring to modern times, not the late 1800's. "Idiots with guns" don't pose a threat to panthers 150 years later. There have been strict protections in place for those cats.

Vehicles do, however. And that traffic is a scourge to much of the U.S. wildlife as a whole.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 19:36   #12
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Agree that car traffic represents a big problem to wildlife nowadays, and not only in the US. In Portugal we have the same problem with Iberian Lynx (as in the reintroduction program, after they have been very effectively "controlled" by hunters for the "benefit" of other "more worthy" wildlife leading them to full extinction), but death by poison (accidental or not) is also playing a role here. Hunters do seem to be a bit more conscientious about Nature in general, but cattle keepers are just the same as they were it seems; there's always a good excuse to shoot a wolf or a coyote.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 19:45   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RafaelMatias View Post
From the very same Scientific American blog (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...red-extinct/):

Thus, it seems guns, and idiots holding them, are to blame here, after all.
Guns surely knocked the cougars down, but cars are evidently the real threat today.
Habitat is there, prey is super abundant, with White Tail Deer a plague on the landscape, hunters are declining and well aware of the law, yet no cougars in the wild. The last one I saw was dead along the freeway between LA and San Diego, beautiful animal at odds with our car culture.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 20:54   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Guns surely knocked the cougars down, but cars are evidently the real threat today.
Why do you think that is? Why should traffic be so much more of a problem for pumas than for (say) bobcats, coyotes, bears? Just a matter of their numbers having been so reduced during the “gun era” that the surviving population was unable to thrive year after year in the face of any serious mortality at all, natural or unnatural? All it had to do, after all, was hit “zero” once for whatever reason and the game was over. . ..

Roadkill, of course, is very conspicuous and easily counted. The only dead large mammals I’ve ever seen in Nevada not along roads, for example, were in bobcat traps or slung across the hoods of pickup trucks, never in the wild where most mortality must occur.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 21:10   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Guns surely knocked the cougars down, but cars are evidently the real threat today.
Habitat is there, prey is super abundant, with White Tail Deer a plague on the landscape, hunters are declining and well aware of the law, yet no cougars in the wild. The last one I saw was dead along the freeway between LA and San Diego, beautiful animal at odds with our car culture.
Think the article said the last was actually recorded over 30 years ago or so?

I imagine in the last few decades they were about there wasn't much compunction to not hunt then, even if hunters are more conscientious/declining now. Fragmented and isolated populations and all that as fugl says.

Cars obviously a threat elsewhere, but not everything.
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