Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Also known as catamounts, panthers, mountain lions and pumas, the mascot of the high school that was almost in my backyard when I was growing up, and of many other New Jersey and East Coast schools has officially been declared extinct.

The authorities have concluded that it's probably been extinct since the late 1930s, although when I was a little boy a decade after that people said they still were around our area and I remember, perhaps falsely, seeing one as a boy up in the mountains of Northwest Jersey where an uncle briefly tried farming.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorities says that the many sightings since the 1930s were most likely of escaped captive animals or Western mountain lions that had migrated East or just very large domestic cats. But they cannot find, and have not found, any breeding populations of the cougar since 1938.

They may still exist in Northeast Canada, I think. But still. This specific subspecies that was common when my grandparents moved here from Ireland now seem to be gone forever (which also explains the explosion of deer populations in Jersey over the past several decades without this natural predator to cull their herds).

(Now the rightwingers—many of whom don't believe in evolution but nonetheless believe in social Darwinism and in "survival of the fittest" in nature—would excuse this manmade problem, which developed out of too much hunting and overdevelopment, and see it as just the natural course of events that we can't, and even shouldn't, try to do anything about. Whereas the centrist and leftist position is to recognize the harm humankind is doing to the natural world and try to rectify it. But that's another post.)


JIm said...

Man you sure got that wrong. Right wingers, as you term it, I would assume includes hunters, work for the management of animals in nature. My hunting and archery friends hunting friends include mechanics, shopkeepers, public employees, union members and ex military and doctors entrepeneurs etc. For the most part they are conservative but are enviromentally concerned. Our hunting license fees go toward game management and lions are part of that management.

Lally, I did not realize that you are now an outdoorsman and a game management expert.

Lally said...

What WAS I thinking? The right of course has been the champion of the environment for decades now, ever since Reagan dismissed acid rain caused by our polluting factories in the Midwest that ended up drifting East and North and destroying forests in Canada and the East as nothing to worry about and chemical runoffs into rivers and streams causing fish to die and frogs to grow three heads and of course the right has fought vigorously to keep mountaintops from being blow off by lazy greedy mining companies that then let the chemicals and pollution from that run down into the lakes and rivers of Appalachia creating spikes in cancer and other deadly diseases as well as destroying one of our most beautiful and bountiful environments, et-endlessly-cetera. Why if it wasn't for the rightwingers us lefties would just ruin nature all together.

Lally said...

Oh, and might I add the destruction of the Northern Wisconsin natural environment by various Koch brother industries? Well gee, somebody's gotta make a profit on destroying nature and it might as well be two of the wealthiest humans alive who need to protect that wealth from horrible taxes and regulations that won't let their various poluuting industries pollute anymore? What's a capitalist to do if he has to abide by rules that save human lives and the environment, move to China? Oh, wait a minute, China is beginning to pass us in that area too with more environmental regulations than us because they see what unregulated businesses have done to their environment, et-endlessly-cetera.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

The great Haiku poet Issa says:

"Borrowing my house
from insects
I slept."

JIm said...

You seem to have an overabundence of venom. Is that a liberal thing or just a Lally thing?

Lally said...

This from the man who has left comments, mostly deleted, insulting not just me but my father and other family members, and calling me all kinds of names, and never apologizing, never acknowledging the posssibility that his rightwing rants may at times be based on erroneous information, never diverting from the rightwing ideology talking points of the moment, and who has actually sent me venomous comments by e mail—and even threatened physical violence against me in some of those!? If it wasn't so desperate I might find it amusing or maybe pitiable. I hated pretty much everything Nixon and Reagan and Bush/Cheney stood for and did or attempted to, but I never wished them personal harm. In fact I felt compassion for them when they were hospitalized for various ailments and when Reagan was shot. But some of the Tea Party acivists and other rightwing folks have made it clear in signs and comments and even speeches and sometimes actions that they believe it is okay to not just venomously attack Obama and other Democrats and/or liberals and even centirsts who don't agree with them, but to imply or outright call for physical harm to come to them. Like most "liberals" and leftists I am a humanist. I believe we all deserve a decent life with enough to eat, shelter and the opportunity to work and make at least a living wage. The right does not agree, it's everyone for themselves. Of course they support being protective and reasonable about the environment when it comes to say deer they hunt, but where were they in the fight to protect the spotted owl from lumber companies that were already getting huge breaks by being allowed by republican administrations to tear down trees in national forests etc.? And isn't it interesting that my (obviously unsuccessful) attempts at some irony, or at least sarcasm, come across as "venom" to someone who has equated in comments on this blog Obama with the Nazis? Ask any survivor of the camps if that's venom.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

maybe we should instruct our Dems to vote 100 %
for the Republican's bill and just sit back
and watch the USA continue to "self destruct"

the endangered species can fend for themselves
in the Smithsonian Institutions Museum of Outer Space

notice that we've given up on Outer Space?

so much for our technological leadership.