Eastern Cougar (Puma concolor couguar) is considered by many puma biologists to be a subspecies of the North American Cougar, while others believe recent genetic research suggests all North American cougars are a single subspecies. The eastern subspecies was deemed extinct by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) evaluation in 2011, while a parallel Canadian organization has taken no position on the question.
USF&WS officials believe that cougars found in eastern North America during recent years have genetic origins in South America (as escaped captives) or are from western North America (as wandering individuals). Others say these cats are surviving members of the eastern subspecies.