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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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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The 8 to 12 Pumas in Los Angeles, the 50 Ocelots in the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in south Texas or the 100 Pumas in South Florida------all three of these carnivore populations are showing signs of in-breeding due to being "penned in" by freeways and highways that prevent "the cats" from both expanding their habitat and numbers as well as exchanging genes with populations across outer ring habitat..................When will the Federal Dept. of Transportation in concert with State Transporation Authorities stop talking about building wildife crossings and actually begin building them?

Nature Report: Ocelot Fatalities
Posted: 08.20.2014 at 9:15 AM

The only wild breeding population of ocelots in the United States clings to a precarious existence in deep South Texas, where less than 50 of the endangered cats are thought to remain.
While habitat loss throughout their range is the primary reason for their declining numbers, being struck by vehicles as they roam is perhaps the greatest threat.

Boyd Blihovde says, Manager Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, "On July 9th, 2014 we had our fourth known ocelot hit by a vehicle on Highway 100 between Laguna Vista and Los Fresnos."
This busy stretch of four-lane highway is separated by an impenetrable concrete barrier that is thought to be a major factor in the ocelot fatalities.
Once the cats manage to get on the highway they cannot see thru the barriers or easily jump over them, and when they become trapped and panic they are hit.
While some minor modification have been made by the Texas Department of Transportation in a small portion of the concrete barriers to perhaps allow small creatures to pass, what the endangered ocelots really need are proven wildlife crossing that pass beneath the roadway like this one on Highway 48 near the Port of Brownsville.
Blihovde says, "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been trying to work with TXDOT
in these known locations where we know the ocelots are crossing roads from our GPS and radio telemetry data…We are encouraging them to step up to the plate and implement these crossings and establish them for the ocelot and other wildlife." 
Representatives of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will be meeting with TXDOT officials later this month to address the pressing issue of wildlife crossings.

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