U.S. officials said the eastern cougar is now extinct. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made this announcement on Wednesday. The cougar prowled around in 21 states and for many years its existence had been questioned. Researchers found that the eastern cougar which was on the protected species list since 1973 may have been extinct since the 1930s.
Researchers did not find evidence of the cougars existence. Now members of FWS are working to remove the eastern cougar from the protected species list, since extinct animals are not eligible for protection by the U.S. Endangered Animals Act. This move will not affect other animals on the list.
Another animal part of the cougar family is the Florida panther, which is not extinct but is in endangered status. The MSNBC article explains the eastern cougar’s extinction.
In an article, Julia Whitty describes how we presently live in the sixth great extinction also known as the Holocene event and what that fate holds for our lives. Whitty says that in different ways we all depend on the fragile membrane of organisms that are disappearing.
Biodiversity includes an area’s genes, species, and ecosystems. The more biodiversity around us the tougher the earth’s immune system is.
Whitty describes animals and other life forms as the “body” of the desert, each species represents a different body part that functions to keep the whole body living. She says that the loss of even one species changes that body of desert.
This clearly shows that we all are connected to each other and that conservation efforts as well as endangered animal protection does affect our lives.
Below is a video the organization Big Cat Rescue and some of the cougars they have in captivity. Big Cat Rescue’s mission statement:
To provide the best home we can for the animals in our care and to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of abuse, abandonment or extinction by teaching people about the plight of the cats, both in the wild and in captivity, and how they can help through their behavior and support of better laws to protect the cats.