Target: Hannibal Bolton, Asst. Director, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Restore the puma to the east after it was declared extinct by moving some from the western United States.
Pumas can be reintroduced in the eastern United States from populations still available in the western United States. Before there was even an attempt to protect the eastern puma, it was already considered extinct. Yet pumas were at one time the most widely ranging mammal in the American continent.
The narrative of how the majestic puma was decimated is heartbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Many different species over the years have been reintroduced into environments from which they died out. This includes our national symbol, the bald eagle, which was all but gone in the lower 48 states when reintroduction programs were first instituted.
Reintroduction is the planned release, into the wild, of a relocated species. Reintroduction has grown in popularity since the 1970’s and 1980’s as recognizable species like the peregrine falcon were reintroduced in North America. There are many reasons to do this. One reason can be pest control when the lack of a certain species seriously unbalances an ecosystem. Wolves have been reintroduced to curb overpopulation of deer or elk.
Pumas are considered critical to balance the animal food chain because they control the size of deer herds. Habitats can be reclaimed and protected that would support the puma and bring a measure of balance back to a natural world that is seriously unbalanced. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we don’t accept that the puma is gone when it can still be reestablished and serve an important purpose in bringing some balance to an unbalanced ecosystem.
Dear Director Bolton,
Pumas are considered critical to balance in the animal food chain because they control the size of deer herds. They’ve been declared extinct in the east, but they can be reintroduced from populations in the western United States. Many different species over the years have been reintroduced into environments from which they died out. This includes our national symbol, the bald eagle, which was all but gone in the lower 48 states when reintroduction programs were instituted.
Pumas were at one time the most widely ranging mammal in the American continent and like a number of other once plentiful species, they were hunted into extinction. That’s heartbreaking, but the foolishness of those who created this situation shouldn’t get to have the last word. We can and should reintroduce and reestablish the majestic Puma in the eastern United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ipuser