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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

This weekend in Naples,,,,,,,,,,,, THE FLORIDA PANTHER FESTIVAL----a celebration and educational awareness of the scant 100 Pumas that still call Florida home, constricted in range due to highways and development

Protecting the Florida Panther: Festival Aims to Raise Awareness


Photo: There are 100 to 160 panthers left in Florida. Courtesy: US Fish and Wildlife Service Trail Camera Project

Photo: There are 100 to 160 panthers left in Florida. Courtesy:
 US Fish and Wildlife Service Trail Camera Project

NAPLES, Fla. - Florida panthers make headlines every time one of the animals is hit by a car - with a record 19 being struck by autos last year - but people hoping to protect the population want Floridians and visitors to think about how to prevent such accidents from happening in the first place. 

There are an estimated 100 to 160 adult panthers left in Florida. Ben Nottingham, manager of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, explained the historical significance of the big wild cats.

"They are the flagship wildlife species for the state of Florida, and they represent, at least for south Florida, what Florida used to look like," he said.

Nottingham said there is only one breeding population, and Interstate 75 and other thoroughfares cut through their habitat, making the creation of wildlife crossings important to the animals' safe travel.

This weekend people are invited to come learn about conservation efforts for the panther and even take field trips into panther habitats at the Florida Panther Festival in Naples.

Defenders of Wildlife is also working to help create ways for panthers and people to coexist. According to the organization's Florida program coordinator, Shannon Miller, people's fear of the panther also impedes the recovery efforts for the animal.

"It's very important that we protect a habitat for these animals and really help people understand what they need and why they're so special," she said.

Defenders also offers assistance for landowners to build predator-resistant enclosures to protect livestock and pets.

Miller said the annual Florida Panther Festival is a great way for Floridians to understand the state animal.

"It's a family-friendly event," she said. "There's children's activities. There's indoor-outdoor exhibits, live music, lots of food, and it's a fun event to come learn about the panther and why it's so important to protect it."

The festival will take place Saturday at North Collier Regional Park, with field trips offered on Sunday. More information can be found at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Catch and release some of these young transient panthers to the Okefenokee and Southern Appalachians, is what I say! There was an effort to do just that, I read a coupla years ago, in the Okefenokee, but I haven't heard/found anything further regarding that. You have any recent info on that? You ARE obviously WAY ahead of most of us with all your great info on this site!...L.B.