September 16, 2018 | By:
Cougar (c) Brad Basil

Introducing Puma Rewilding Profile: KLANDAGI

by Helen McGinnis

Helen McGinnis

Helen McGinnis (c) John Davis

Klandagi is the Cherokee word for the puma: literally “Lord of the Forest.”The Cherokee Indians’ homeland included parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. By 1930, native pumas (AKA mountain lions, cougars, Florida panthers and 200+ indigenous names) had been eliminated from the region, as had most of the Cherokees.

One of Klandagi’s primary objectives is to explore ways of enabling non-hunting carnivore advocates to have a voice in the management of their state’s wildlife, including providing financial support for their wildlife agencies. Without such changes, it’s unlikely that potential source populations on the eastern fringe of the Rocky Mountains will be allowed to grow to the point that dispersing subadults leave —some to recolonize the Midwest and East. Nor without reform is it likely that cougars and native wolves will be reintroduced.

Puma advocates launched Klandagi Facebook to track the following:

  • any puma confirmations in midwestern and eastern North America outside of Florida;
  • the status of the Florida panther;
  • confirmations in states and Canadian provinces with recolonized populations which are sources for potential recolonizers further east;
  • significant developments in the management of cougars in the US and Canada, especially in areas that are serving as sources of recolonizers further east;
  • any attacks on humans in the US and Canada.

Klandagi also shares articles and photos:

  • on co-existing with cougars and protecting pets and livestock;
  • some of the exceptional trail cam photos and videos of wild cougars (see the Mountain Lion Lovers Facebook page for many more);
  • on natural recolonization and reintroduction of large carnivores in countries outside the US and Canada;
  • on the ecological benefits of restoration of large carnivores;
  • on other benefits of restoration of large carnivores, such as reducing the number of human fatalities caused by collisions with deer;
  • occasional photos, videos and articles about pumas in Latin America.

Please follow Klandagi: Puma Rewilding on Facebook and “like” our posts. Please share with us articles and reports as noted above.


Thanks to Brad Basil, of ArtMedium in Elkins, West Virginia  for allowing Rewilding Earth to use his painting of a cougar on the Bear Rocks at the edge of the Dolly Sods Wilderness in northern West Virginia.  Cougars once occurred throughout West Virginia–throughout all of eastern North America.  But humans extirpated them except for a handful which survived in southern Florida, where they are now protected as Florida panthers under the Endangered Species Act.

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