Re(3): Definition of a Breeding Population

Had time to add more to this...

The USFW announced that they believe that the eastern cougar subspecies is extinct and furthermore stated that they plan to delist the animal. If you want to be technical, the official position is that the eastern cougar is still protected by the ESL and no one can shoot, capture of bother them without special circumstances but this is a hollow protection because in the USFWs view no such animal exists anymore. It might as well be the Dodo or passenger pigeon or American cheetah. Any mountain lion found in New England is not covered by the ESA unless the Similarities in Appearance Clause is invoked, which they have declined to do. At the moment the status of mountain lions in NE is uncertain and possibly vulnerable. One could argue they are exotics or alien critters subject to removal. Protests from environmentalists make removal unlikely and state agencies donít want people to think would they kill or capture female cougars leaving defenseless kittens alone in a hole somewhere to starve or being eaten by coyotes. In the event agencies take a different approach on these lions we will remind them of this in conspicuously public manner. Agencies wonít like the bad publicity. It appears to be headed in the other direction anyway. Massachusetts Wildlife recently released statements which suggested the cougar would be treated like all other animals found in the state. Protection is implied. The hiring of Nathan Webb by Maine and the sending of employees from two New England states to Harley Shaw's puma track program is clear evidence that some jurisdiction have already made plans to manage these cats. No possible interpretation of the last statement is possible; it is............ what it is.


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