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Eastern Cougar
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Information
Range Eastern United States
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Genus Puma
Species Puma couguar
Conservation Status
EXSpecies
Extinct
The Eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) is considered by many puma biologists to be a subspecies of the North american cougar, while others believe recent genetic research suggests all North American cougars are a single subspecies. The eastern subspecies was deemed extinct by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) evaluation in 2011, while a parallel Canadian organization has taken no position on the question.

USF&WS officials believe that cougars found in eastern North America during recent years have genetic origins in South America (as escaped captives) or are from western North America (as wandering individuals). Others say these cats are surviving members of the eastern subspecies.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Review

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007 began 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, according to a news release published by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. As part of the review, the USFWS sought information on the status of the eastern cougar in 21 states—from Maine to South Carolina and westward from Michigan to Tennessee where the Endangered Species Act protects it.

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