Cougar sighted in Rio where it was said to be extinct

The reserve is located in Maricá, in the greater Rio region

Published on 11/04/2022 - 12:47 By Vitor Abdala - Rio de Janeiro

A cougar (Puma concolor) was caught on camera in an environmental reserve in the municipality of Maricá, in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro city. The feline had been considered extinct in the region for over a century.

The footage was made in the last quarter of 2021 with camera traps installed in the Refúgio de Vida Silvestre Municipal das Serras de Maricá (Revimar), one of the municipality’s environmental protection areas.

The cougar is the second largest feline in the Americas, behind only the jaguar (Panthera onca). Its habitat stretches from Patagonia in the south to Canada in the north, including all Brazilian regions and biomes.

The species in Brazil is considered vulnerable—the third most serious level on the scale of risk of extinction for animals that still exist in nature (above it are critically endangered and endangered), according to Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).

Before the puma, the camera traps at Revimar had caught another feline, the margay (Leopardus wiedii), back in February 2021.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Graça Adjuto

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