Success: Wild Cougars Return to Tennessee

Target: Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Applaud conservation efforts that have enabled the cougar to return to Tennessee.

Cougars have returned to Tennessee after over 25 years of absence. After recording multiple sightings, wildlife officials now have reason to be optimistic about the cats’ long-term chances of survival in the area.

In the past year, there have been seven confirmed sightings of cougars in West and Middle Tennessee. The cougar’s presence in Tennessee was eliminated in the 1980s and 90s due to habitat loss and hunting, but now experts believe that the big cats have migrated east, coming from areas such as Western Canada.

Efforts to preserve cougar populations have been extensive, as evidenced by the ForceChange petitions found here and here. The cougar is subject to a number of anti-hunting protections. In Tennessee, it is forbidden to kill a cougar unless there an imminent threat of injury.

The return of these precious creatures serves as proof that environmental regulations are working. Sign the petition below to thank the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for their diligent efforts to preserve these animals.


Dear Mr. Ashe,

I am writing to commend your department for its work on preserving cougar populations. After over 20 years of absence, these animals have returned to Tennessee, and experts believe their presence will soon be permanent as the population grows. This encouraging sign serves as proof that environmental regulations are working.

Cougars were driven out of the state because of habitat loss and hunting, but new laws provide for much more rigorous protection. In Tennessee, for example, residents may not kill a cougar unless there is an imminent danger of injury. Thank you for your efforts to protect these valuable animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Malcolm

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One Comment

  1. Karen Carney Karen Carney says:

    I applaud their efforts to reintroduce the cougar, but how long before hunters deplete the population again.

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