WHEREAS, over the years there have been numerous reports of sightings of “big cats,” that is, cougars/mountain lions/panthers, in Louisiana, and
WHEREAS, most of these sightings are not corroborated with physical evidence, and
WHEREAS, in recent years two sightings corroborated with physical evidence have been reported, i.e. scat at Lake Fausse Point in 2002 and a corpse in Bossier City in 2008, and
WHEREAS, the number of “big cats” in Louisiana or passing through Louisiana at any given time is unknown, and
WHEREAS, the genetic composition of big cats in Louisiana, specifically whether of “Texas cougar affinity” or of “Florida panther affinity” or some separate affinity, is unknown, and
WHEREAS, the future collection of physical evidence of “big cats” is likely, and
WHEREAS, comparative and statistical analysis of genetic evidence from collected physical evidence of “big cats” would help to determine answers to the population and affinity questions.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), possibly in conjunction with academic institutions, maintain and genetically analyze samples of all physical evidence of “big cats” collected in Louisiana.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the LWF requests that the LDWF continue to make the results of these ongoing genetic analyses and statistical studies available to the public so as to enhance the public’s awareness of the status of “big cats” in Louisiana.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 1, 2009 in West Monroe, Louisiana.