The cougar or Puma concolor once roamed free and wild all across the Northeast. It was extirpated from this region about 1890; however, ever since there have been sightings and even some field evidence. Yet local wildlife officials continue to tell us that they do not exist. In fact, the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service officially declared the species extinct here this spring. Only a month later, a 140 pound male cougar was struck and killed in Milford, Connecticut. If they are extinct then why do so many people see them and how do you explain the recent kill? Robert Tougias will answer this question and discuss the future of the large carnivore here in New England. The program will last forty five minutes and will be followed by questions.

          Robert Tougias is a nature author and has been studying the eastern cougar story for two decades. He is the author of Birding Western Massachusetts – A Habitat Approach ( New England Cartographics) and presently has a column appearing in the New London Day Newspaper. He is considered by many wildlife biologists to be one of the few experts on the subject. Robert’s interest in the cougar peaked when he discovered large cat tracks near his family’s cabin in northern Vermont. His new book The Quest For The Eastern Cougar is now available.