A growing North American cougar population has inspired scientists to take a close look at the risk this species presents to humans. In his 2011 analysis of 343 North American aggressive cougar encounters, David Mattson found that only 29 resulted in fatal human attacks.
The lynx is one of the most at-risk carnivores in the United States. South of the US-Canada border, this elusive species’ population may be as low as a few hundred individuals. In 2000, the federal government acted by listing it as threatened in portions of the US, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Steps to recover lynx have included reintroduction.