Update on Eastern Mountain Lions in Virginia | Old Dominion Wildlife

Update on Eastern Mountain Lions in Virginia

March 11, 2011

Eastern Cougars Extinct?

On March 2, 2011, the U.S. Government released a report saying the eastern mountain lion is extinct. [Note: Eastern panthers, painters, pumas, mountain lions, and cougars all describe the same animal]:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) conducted a formal review of the available information and, in a report issued today, concludes the eastern cougar is extinct and recommends the subspecies be removed from the endangered species list…

Reports of cougars observed in the wild examined during the review process described cougars of other subspecies, often South American subspecies, that had been held in captivity and had escaped or been released to the wild, as well as wild cougars of the western United States subspecies that had migrated eastward to the Midwest…

Recent Mountain Lion Sightings in Virginia Continue

Despite the government report, I am unconvinced that there are not small numbers of a remaining breeding population of eastern mountain lions in Virginia. My wife and I both believe we saw one in 2006.

More recently when we had our dryer repaired earlier this year, the repairman mentioned he heard of a recent sighting near Amissville, Virginia (Rappahannock County).

Additionally “Sheepherder,” a commentator on the Capital Weather Gang blog, recently commented:

There is another mountain lion or three out here in zip codes 20185, 20184, 20117 and 20118.

Those zip codes correspond to Fauquier County.

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73 Responses to Update on Eastern Mountain Lions in Virginia

  1. August 3, 2013 at 12:31 am

    All, thank you very much for the reports. New post up at: http://www.olddominionwildlife.com/2013/08/02/august-2013-mountain-lions-in-virginia-update/

    Ricky: can you share the pic??

  2. Melody Windsor
    August 5, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Sylvatus, VA – August 4, 2013
    Just today a friend came to visit and was shaken when she got to our house. She said at the top of our 1/4 mile driveway a huge black cat ran in front of the car from the trees into the field of tall grass. She said she did a double-take cause it was so huge. She said it was a panther and that she saw one in Ivanhoe a few years ago too. We told her there is a black dog we see sometimes and she said it was no dog. We told her there are bears around here… she still insisted it was not a bear, but was a panther.

  3. jacqlyn
    October 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    My sister lives in king & queen co and we have heard a couple times that sightings of cougars are rare but happen. It’s also published that bears don’t live around here anymore but my youngest sister was waiting for the school bus and a bear crossed the road right in front of her. King and queen is very rural and sightings of bears are pretty common.

  4. karen barrett
    October 10, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I live a couple miles from Saluda close to the Middlesex/Gloucester county line.My son saw a cougar last night after seeing large amounts of deer close to the road Rt 17 on his way home from work around 1am.He drives this route at this time almost nightly & was quite surprised with the more than normal deer.He then spotted the cougar up on the field .I probably would have been surprised but a lady on our lane said she had one leap across the lane in front of her last year.Same cougar?? Maybe ?I also read about another sighting in Urbanna which is not far.We also have black bear around here.

  5. kg
    October 22, 2013 at 12:45 am

    False last month I watched one for almost 5 min while fishing late one evening and coould clearly see it was a mounting lion not just a quick glance but it watched me as close as I watched it .wise county

  6. Mudskipper
    October 25, 2013 at 7:01 am

    I have a few trail camera pictures of one hunting down a fawn. It was taken on a property I hunt at the New Kent/Hanover county lines. The New Kent Chronical has published an article a few years back about people in the area seeing them.

  7. Brian cram
    November 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I saw one while fishing Irish creek in rockbridge co. two years ago. scared the carp our of me. there have been numerous sightings over the past year in the area

  8. Carol
    November 24, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Haven’t seen one, but have heard the screams late at night. Must be a mountain lion. I am in Wise County also.

  9. jeff
    November 29, 2013 at 9:19 am

    i just saw a mountain lion on providence rd in abingdon va

  10. January 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I worked for Reeves T.Barker and R.T. Barker jr. on their farm
    in Mendota ,Va. Reeves sr took a photo of two cats on the frozen
    north fork of the Holston river in 1983. they were jet black and
    they were not house cats.
    I have fished that river for 20 years and could tell buy the
    rocks the cats were playing by, that they were large cats.
    It anyone knows Reeves T.(Buckey) Barker jr. of Townsend.Tn.
    you should ask him for those photos. as his father has passed
    and I am sure ‘Buckey’ has them.
    Craig McMurray

  11. Clifford Headrick
    February 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I have a large mountain lion on my daughters property in Floyd Virginia. Have seen it twice and have picture. What can I do about it.

  12. Fredda Wyatt
    February 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    My son and I watched what we believe to have been a mountain lion cub in Washington Co. The tail was too long to be a bobcat. It appeared to be approximately 40 lbs. Much too large to be a barn cat or pet.

  13. March 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    send pictures to epuma@frontier.com if you want them identified.

  14. John Canady
    April 15, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Up date to my earlier sighting. No actual sighting this time but if I could post some trail cam photos a picture is worth a thousand words. Most recent shot was snapped this past Saturday morning at apron. 5:30am. The second shot was on 3/3/14 around 10:00pm. Lunenburg county, VA. So there is no doubt in my mind, they are back!

  15. Ashleigh Switzer
    September 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

    We have had sightings of a rather large cat on our property pretty regularly. My husband opened our front door last night to find it on our front steps. It was dark and raining so he couldn’t get a good look as it truly scared him as well. We put a camera up last night and a pound of turkey breast and have a very clear video of the animal. We are trying to figure out what type of cat can eat 1 lb. of lunch meat in under a minute, larger then a barn cat and long tail with stripes? I’m assuming this is the animal that has made our 6 chickens disappear as well. Thanks!

  16. Sam
    September 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Two different mountain lion sitings in 2014 on blue ridge mountain rd between mt weather emergency ops ctr and Rt 50. …by two different people about 7 months apart. Bluemont/Paris Va. Both were close enough to see it’s whiskers as it crossed rd in front of them….definitely Not bobcats or domesticated

  17. Samantha N.
    June 22, 2015 at 3:06 am

    I use to live in Linden, Va …saw two up there …they are treed by dogs? There were ALWAYS missing dog signs all over the place… They inhabit our woods for sure!!! I believe we may have wolves too …have never seen a black coyote TWICE its normal size out where I live lol. Government probably doesn’t want them hunted so why inform the public??

  18. July 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    renewed reports of wild, free-roving cougars-pumas-mountain lions have increased along both sides of Shenandoah National Park-Forest, from Warren County SOUTH to Nelson County since the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, declared the eastern cougar-mountain lion, to be extinct on April Fools in 2011. Latest sightings by professional observers are 100% positive, the eastern American Lion never left central Virginia’s Shenandoah Mountains. If you have or know of a recent sighting, contact us at epuma@frontier.com

  19. John Gillien
    February 1, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I have seen one in front of my property twice in the last year and it is blackish gray. Also, I was told by a young woman that cut my hair that there was one found dead on their property that they use for hunting in Buckingham County this year.

  20. r pelletier
    September 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I was told by a ranger in the geo wash nat forest that a lion was struck by a car near the park entrance in August, non-fatal

  21. Kathy
    April 27, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I was born and lived in Grundy Va when I was a child and I saw and heard numerous black panthers but this was 30 years ago I don’t live there now but I have family who does and it’s a very rural area lots of wildlife I’m sure there still there I live I. McDowell county and mercer county in WV now and I’ve saw several black panthers in several different parts of the county and In mercer county I’ve saw a few brown or fawn coloration of mt lions and several black panthers I. Mercer county in recent years there still here

  22. April 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I was born in Buchanan county and saw several black panthers in the county I moved to McDowell county in WV and have seen several black panthers in several different parts of the county in Mercer county I’ve seen several black panthers and a few brown or fawn coloration of the panthers in the county in recent years the areas are rural with lots of wildlife in Buchanan county I lived in Grundy Garden Creek and in Mercer county Bluefield WV in McDowell county in several areas Gary Welch Iager Roderfield Davy Mayberry Panther Bigcreek Bradshaw all rural areas if your familiar with the area you know they could easily thrive here

  23. July 9, 2017 at 8:06 am

    On information from very reliable sources, what can be described as an adult mountain lion/cougar, occurred early morning of June 19th along Guest Creek in Wise Co., Va, east of Norton along northern perimeter of Jefferson National Forest.

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