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The American Eastern Cougar is now Extinct
The Eastern Cougar is no more
The Eastern Cougar has been declared officially extinct
In March of 2011, the US Fish and Wildlife service declared the American Eastern Cougar extinct.
For years, conservationsits had debated whether or not there were still any of the big cats left, since there have been so few sighting of them, and none confirmed. The cougars lived in mountainous regions of the eastern United States. Over the last 50 years, there have been only 108 reported sighting of these rare cats, none of which have been confirmed with photographs or witnessed by experts. The Eastern cougar had gotten the nick-name "ghost cat" because of this. Many believe that the cats have been extinct since the mid-20th century, while others maintained that they had merely taken to eluding humans.
In 2007, the US Fish and Wildlife service began reviewing records of cameras on trails, as well as studying roadkill and other animal remains. They also re-examined recent eyewitness accounts. Their research has found no evidence of a live Eastern Cougar in over 50 years.
The Eastern Cougar once thrived in the American east. However, during the 20th century, the cats fell victim to excessive hunting. Also, their main source of food--the White Tailed Deer--had also been on the endangered species list, due to hunters. This created a food shortage for the cougars. The recent, sudden increase of White Tailed Deer is also taken as evidence that their main predator is extinct.
Due to the overwhelming evidence, the Fish And Wildlife service has moved the Eastern Cougar from the endangered species list to the extinct species list. It's sad that these beautiful cats are no more!