Systematic hunting and habitat destruction by human beings have once again led to the extinction of another species of cats in North America. It has been 80 years since the last Eastern Puma was sighted in North America.
The big cats which once used to roam around the North American landscape, have now been officially declared extinct by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Survival of the species had been a matter of concern since the beginning of 1900s when it was listed as ‘endangered species’. Since then, programs have been underway to conserve the big cats, but in vain.
The animal scientifically known as Puma concolor couguar was last spotted in Maine in 1938.
Extinction of Eastern Puma is a matter of grave concern as the species helped maintain a healthy ecosystem. Speaking to The Weather Channel, CBD conservation advocate Michael Robinson said,
We need large carnivores like cougars to keep the wild food web healthy, so we hope eastern and midwestern states will reintroduce them. Cougars would curb deer overpopulation and tick-borne diseases that threaten human health.
Studies also suggest that most Eastern Cougars disappeared in the 1800s, as they were killed out of fear for human and livestock safety and were victims of massive deforestation. They were also hunted for their fur which fetched high commercial value.
Extinction of the Eastern Puma should be more than enough to give us a warning that we seriously need to protect our environment and other such beautiful and crucial species in our ecosystem.