Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 21, 2010

Human Threats and Supports to the Big Cats


Image via Wikipedia

Trials and Tribulations of Mountain Lions aka Cougars aka Panthers

Updated 10/22/10

I recently was in Florida and had hoped to see birds and alligators (a panther would have been great but I had no such illusions having only  seen one Mt. Lion)  but never managed to get to the wildlife preserves.   So I thought I could at least write about the Florida Panthers.

NPR recently ran a story on the comeback of the Florida Panthers (animals not the football team).  The Florida Panther population was declining and heading for extinction.  Fifteen years ago eight female pumas were captured and brought to Florida to help revitalize the population.  The program has been a resounding success.  The population has increased and is much healthier.  The dilemma is what next as the growing puma population are not welcome in residential neighborhoods.  As the population grows wildlife officials are exploring new habitats for the panthers.  To read more go to: Bounding, Rebounding: Panthers Make A Comeback

Conflicts between man and mountain lion will likely be a continuing problem.

Last month in Berkeley, CA we had an incident where a mountain lion had come into town in a heavily populated area and was killed by the local police as it was believed he posed a possible threat.  To read more about this incident go to the East Bay Express article: Mountain Lion Killed in Berkeley and Bay Citizen article: When the Call of the Wild Comes Too Close to Home

Even though mountain lion-human encounters like the one above are rare; encounters with pets and livestock are not.  To read more: California cougars: a conflict between man and beast

Links  from the Bay Citizen to  other Bay Area mountain lion  spottings including the one mentioned in John Wall’s comment:

Mountain Lion Spotted in San Mateo

Cougar Shooed From Pleasant Hill ‘Hood

Puma Spotted Near Elementary School…Again

Double Cougar Sighting in Pescadero

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  1. There have been recent sightings in Pescadero, too. By the way, I briefly saw a Florida panther (in silhouette, near sunset) as it crossed the road and disappeared into the jungle. This was in the Merritt Island NWR next to the Kennedy Space Center. It happened so fast that I went to the edge of the jungle to look for tracks, but I started to get a bad feeling and went back to my car. 😉


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