Monday, January 22, 2001

Group thinks cougars again prowl Appalachia

By Roger Alford
The Associated Press

        PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A cougar kitten that was killed by a car on a highway in eastern Kentucky three years ago may not point to a thriving population of the big cats.

        But that one, coupled with dozens of recent sightings throughout southern Appalachia, leads Chris Volgiano to think cougars exist in sufficient numbers to warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

        “We ought to welcome them back, and be grateful for their willingness to give us a second chance,” said Ms. Volgiano, a member of the Eastern Cougar Foundation in Harrisonburg, Va.

        Cougars have been absent from the Appalachians for 150 years, but Ms. Volgiano believes mounting evidence in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia suggests they're back.

        Jason Plaxico, a state wildlife biologist in eastern Kentucky, said reported sightings are not uncommon. Confirming them is difficult, unless someone finds a carcass like that of the 3-month-old kitten he examined three years ago.


Challengers for Luken are scarce
Florence considers minor-league ballpark
Local Army Rangers join protest
RADEL: Your chance to gripe about FWW
CT scans on kids increase cancer danger
Kids' radiation dose can be lowered
Lawmaker Bateman, 64, dies
Anti-abortion marchers hopeful
Choices Fair places focus on education, responsibility
Family opens home to 'unadoptables'
Principal who assists disabled among honorees
School tests software based on brain studies
Talawanda schools planning 10 years ahead
$20,000 to expand Warren housing
JA chapter seeks grads for festivities
Madeira may build walking trail
Kentucky Digest
Local Digest
You asked for it
Allocating tobacco payments keeps lawmakers occupied
Chao likely to coast at hearing
Fla. truck driver father of abandoned girl
- Group thinks cougars again prowl Appalachia
Group wants cats protected