Reintroduce the Cougar to the Eastern US
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Reintroduce the Cougar to the Eastern US

    1. Ryan Fyock
    2. Petition by

      Ryan Fyock

      Front Royal, VA

In 1994 a momentous event occurred, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. In the following years many species of plants started recovering from years of overgrazing by Elk and soon after beavers returned to the park, able to once again find the Willows necessary for their survival. With the beavers came the beaver dams which provided habitat for many species of fish as well as moose, otters, mink, wading birds, waterfowl and amphibians. Meanwhile the diminished coyote population has led to a rise in foxes, and that in turn has shifted the odds of survival for coyote prey such as hares and young deer, as well as for the small rodents and ground-nesting birds the foxes stalk. These changes affected how often certain roots, buds, seeds and insects got eaten, which altered the balance of local plant communities, and so on down the food chain all the way to fungi and microbes. All this was through the cascading effects of reintroducing just one species.

However in most of the Eastern US the top predator is the Coyote which only occasionally preys on adult deer and as a result the ecosystem of the Eastern US is out of whack. White-Tailed Deer are heavily overpopulated and are making impossible for the forests to recover, this in turn is affecting countless other species who depend on the diverse forest habitat for survival. But there is a solution, and over 150 years ago that solution resided here, the Cougar. However due to a unjustified slaughter they no longer reside west of the Mississippi River, except for a struggling population in Florida. These majestic cats were the top predator here for thousands of years and were instrumental in keeping the deer in check and now with the successful reintroduction of Elk to the Eastern US the ecosystem is likely to deteriorate even more. So now is the time to create another momentous occasion by reintroducing the top predator of the Eastern US, and now that genetics have shown there is only one subspecies of Puma Concolor in North America, there is an ever present need to return them to their former haunts.

My proposal is quite simple, we should start by identifying suitable habitat in National and State parks across the Eastern US. Then capture and radio collar Cougars in the Western US and finally in a controlled project reintroduce those Cougars to suitable parks. Livestock compensation should also be implemented. Once their numbers have recovered to a significant degree, we can allowed controlled hunting to take place. The chance to hunt the animal will encourage local hunters to help in protecting the Cougar while game tags will increase state revenue. Not to mention the huge tourist boom that will follow reintroduction.

This is something that must be done, our ecosystem is out of balance and can never recover without its keystone predator. We as a nation must show the rest of world we are willing to preserve are ecosystems and our natural heritage. India's citizens, despite huge overpopulation, have preserved their many species, including the legendary Tiger, and now as I type this, India government is in the midst of reintroducing their one missing cat, the Cheetah. Now is the time, if we don't we'll miss out on our chance to show the rest of world, that were just as willing to preserve and help our wildlife recover. We need to do this, for the ecosystem, for the people, and most of all for our most elusive species, the Cougar.

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    1. Reached 250 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Josh Stockburger ARCHBOLD, OH
      • 6 months ago

      Our forest here in the Eastern United States are over-grazed by deer and a variety of other wildlife. Mountain Lions are native to Ohio but were extirpated from this state by our ancestors and I would like to see them back.

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    • James Burbank REHOBOTH, MA
      • 8 months ago

      Meow

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    • Earle Hudson UNADILLA, GA
      • 9 months ago

      First of all, there is a statement in the narrative provided that "They no longer reside 'west' of the Mississippi River" I believe they mean 'east' of the Mississippi River. I think they should be reintroduced. Supposedly there are Bobcat in the part of Georgia I grew up in. I was in the woods hunting quite a bit, but I have never seen a Bobcat. I don't think the Cougar would pose a significant problem to humans or domesticated animals.

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    • Sophia Kennebo AARHUS, DENMARK
      • over 1 year ago

      While there is much focus on protecting other animal species the cougar has been legally hunted and slaughtered for hundreds of years. This magnificent animal is almost extinct in the Eastern US. It is called regulation, but the truth is that the cougar pose absolutely no danger to humans. The change of a cougar attack is 1 out of 30 mio. Today the cougar has almost been totally wiped out of all the countries, where it use to be safe and free. It's habitat is constantly diminishing, even though it plays a huge role in ecosystems. Females are hunted as well and kittens are left to starve and die. How can this be happening in the civilized US? Are we not in 2013? It's time to completely forbid hunting of cougars, especially with hounds It's time that the cougar returns to the Eastern US.

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    • Miranda Sweat ORLANDO, FL
      • almost 2 years ago

      the cougar was my high school mascot and i think it needs to be reintroduced back into florida. we need them here

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