Management implications under the Endangered Species Act of the possible return of the eastern cougar (Felis concolor couguar Kerr) to New York and northern New England

Geiger, Kevin
Meade Cadot
Department of Environmental Studies
This paper focuses on the eastern cougar in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, along with a tangential look at eastern Canada. The paper reviews the general behavior and distribution of cougars in the United States; the history of the decline of the eastern cougar, along with that of other wildlife in the eastern United States; eastern cougar sightings reports and ecological factors favoring the eastern cougar's return; the Endangered Species Act, and recovery efforts for the Florida panther and eastern cougar under the Act, in order to establish a knowledgeable context for discussing potential management issues if the eastern cougar is found to have returned. Lessons learned from the management of other endangered species and the real constraints on governmental action in regard to the eastern cougar are then discussed, followed by limited suggestions for future action by these agencies.

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