Eastern puma declared extinct, 80 years after last confirmed sighting

Florida panther spotted in Hendry County Jan. 25, 2017. ©Robert Steagall/FWC

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a final rule that declared the eastern puma (Puma concolor couguar) extinct. This review process began in July 2015, when the USFWS initiated the standard five-year status review of this species.

This subspecies was endemic to the eastern half of the United States and is genetically similar to the Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) and the western subspecies of the North American cougar (Puma concolor). The last confirmed sighting of an individual was reported in 1938.

See the official ruling on this case in the Federal Register or read more about the eastern puma from Yale Environment 360.

See The Wildlife Society’s Standing Position on Threatened and Endangered Species and Position Statement on the U.S. Endangered Species Act.