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Old 01-30-2011, 01:50 AM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default The State Of Cougar Conservation in US.

My sister and her husband saw a Florida panther while hiking there a couple of years ago. Imagine hiking along and running into one of these cats taking a stroll. They wisely turned tail and left the trail. Scary but how exciting is that.

Read An interview with cougar expert, Howard Quigley
American cougars on the decline: 'We?re running against the clock,' says big cat expert

In North America, cougars became extirpated from most of the Eastern U.S. and Canada after European colonization. The only resident eastern population is the critically endangered Florida panther which occupies only five percent of its historic range and numbers just 50-100 individuals. Many states and provinces in the western portions of the U.S. and Canada have resident cougar populations, and all except California and the Yukon allow hunting. However, most have enacted certain protection measures. The lone exception is Texas, where hunting of the cats in largely unregulated. The state groups cougars with ticks and pigeons as "nuisance wildlife", and allows anyone with a hunting or trapping permit to kill a cougar regardless of sex, size, or age.
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

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Old 01-30-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA

Some great information there. Thanks for finding that.

Hiking in the California Santa Monica mountains with my sister who lives in Ventura County, I saw a cougar around the bend of the trail we were hiking on through my binoculars. It was a good distance ahead of us. We kept on, but it was gone or hiding when we got to where it had been. A few years later there was an attack upon a biker who had gotten down on his knees to make a mechanical correction to his bike in the same area. Only the fact that his girlfriend beat on the cat with an air pump saved him. He had been grabbed by the skull and was being dragged into the brush.

I'm a big proponent of cougar proliferation through strict hunting regulations on the species and would like to see it spread into the East where they could control the deer population. I also, however, have a profound respect for the danger they can be to the unsuspecting woodland explorer.
"Know thyself."

Oracle at Delphi
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:26 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2009

I thought some might still exist in Virginia? Seems like I read that some scat or something had been found there back in the 80s. Personally, I think it's rather sad that the remote chance of a negative encounter or a few domestic animals would prevent our society from doing everything it can to encourage cougar conservation. They are such interesting animals, it baffles me how anyone can not be fascinated by them. I don't have a problem with hunting, as long as it's being done in a way that protects habitat and considers honest assessments of population change.
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conservation, cougar, cougars, critically, endangered, endangered mammals, florida, habitat, hunted, hunting, panther, protect, protected, protected species, protection, protection measures, state, survival, wildlife

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