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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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Friday, October 17, 2014

As we know from the studies conducted on the ten Pumas that still call the Greater Los Angeles basin home, highways literally stop dead the genetic flow of the big cat, isolating populations with inbreeding maladies being the result.............Researchers from the University of California, Davis,collected DNA samples from more than 350 mountain lions throughout California and found that animals separated by little more than a highway have far less genetic material in common than they did just 80 years ago..................We need highway culverts created for the Pumas so that they can move back and forth across territories and invigorate neighboring populations with their genes,,,,,,,,,,,,Othervwise the fact that California has been enlightened enough to ban the hunting of these animals will be all for naught with physical and mental abnormalities the eventual outcome of this man made array of physical blockades and the loss of resilience for the "lions"

The isolating effects of human
 development are 
causing a sharp decline in genetic
 diversity among 
mountain lions in Southern
 a new study says.

Researchers from the University of 
California, Davis, 
collected DNA samples from more 
than 350 mountain 
lions throughout California and
that animals 
separated by little more than a
have far less
 genetic material in common than
 did just 80 years
ago, suggesting that there is far less 
interbreeding among 

Pumas in the Santa Ana Mountains 
— effectively fenced in
 by Interstate 15 to the east, the
 Ocean to the west 
and Los Angeles to the north —
 displayed lower genetic 
diversity than those from nearly
 other region in the
 state. So severe is their isolation 
that the Santa Ana pumas
 have more in common genetically
 with lions 400 miles to 
the north than their neighbors
 in the
 Santa Monica Mountains.

Tests revealed
that the decline
 in diversity had
taken place
“within four to
 six mountain lion
generations,” said 
Holly Ernest, lead author
 of the studyin PLOS One.
know that this is happening 
on a recent time scale” and is a
 result of human development 
rather than natural separation
other mountain lions.
“Genetically diverse populations
 better able to handle whatever
 nature or humans throw at them,
 climate change or disease,”
 said Dr. Ernest, a geneticist now
the University of Wyoming. “If
 lions lose that genetic diversity,
 lose that resilience.”

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