Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Did the Florida Panther Cross the Road?

I just got back from Cougar Country this past week. Well, actually it was Panther Paradise. The Bald Cypress National Preserve is home to many of the 100-150 remaining Florida Panthers. Even though the scientists we spoke to had seen panthers in the area, luck was not on our side for getting a glimpse of the rare and elusive cats. Even though the habitat we hiked through was perfect for these predators, factors such as increasing populations of panthers and increasing urban sprawl has pushed them closer to dangerous situations. This year alone 9 panthers have been killed by car collisions. That is a lot compared to how many are left in the wild. I found an article this week about what scientists are doing to provide safer passage for panthers when they move from one Everglades water conservations area to another. I believe it is a great idea for the benefit of all Floridian wildlife and hopefully will allow panther to pass freely through the region. Check out the article from the Sierra Club website: Panther at the Crossroads. and check out the AMAZING photos Heather Green took of Florida Panthers in the Bald Cypress National Preserve in her flickr photostream.


Becky Mushko said...

You might be interested in this story in the Franklin News Post about a cougar captured on wildlife camera in SAndy Level area of Franklin County:

- clark - said...

Thank you so much for the article. I had not heard about this sighting. This is very exciting. A photo of a mountain lion in Southwest Virginia! I'm surprised I had not heard of this, being from southwest Virginia myself. Photographic proof is exciting, but sadly it seems that now a days that isn't enough for skeptics and classification of "native" and many would say it is a released "pet." However, this gives me new hope for the area and I know I'm placing my cameras out all winter just in case.