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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, April 21, 2017

Some great pictures and videos of Pumas, Bobcats and Ocelots captured by the National Geographic BIG CATS INITIATIVE---for your Friday enjoyment below

Big Cats on Camera

Big cats are magnificent, powerful creatures, with incredible stealth and hunting prowess. Their populations are in decline worldwide, caused by habitat loss and conflict with humans. The more we know about these magnificent, powerful animals, the better served the conservation community will be to protect them. (Learn how to help them through National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.)
Volunteer crews with my organization, Adventure Scientists, have captured mountain lions, ocelots and bobcats on camera traps, and found sign of lynx and snow leopard. We’ve used this information to help our research partners learn more about the wild places they study, from Costa Rica to Utah.
Mountain LionSolitary animals, mountain lions live mostly in remote places and are rarely spotted by humans. Weighing in at 85-180 pounds and stretching 7-8 feet long, they hunt by ambush and kill with a powerful bite at the base of the skull, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. A typical male’s territory is 100-plus square miles, while females range less than 50. The crew caught this mountain lion on a camera trap while working on the American Prairie Reserve in northern Montana in the summer of 2015:

Another crew captured this lion (above) on camera in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest of northeastern Utah:
mountain lion
Watch Puma video

BobcatNamed for its short bobbed tail, the bobcat is the most populous wildcat in North America, with 725,000-1,020,000 in the wild. At 10-28 pounds and up to 23 inches tall, they’re slightly smaller than lynx, their much less common relative. Early 20th century trapping nearly wiped out bobcats in the eastern and midwestern United States, where they’ve since recovered. We recorded this one in the Uintas:

view bobcat video

A team of ASC adventurers in Costa Rica caught this ocelot on a camera trap they set up at Reserva Playa Tortuga this summer. Nocturnal creatures, ocelots weigh up to 40 pounds and can live as long as 20 years. Also known as “painted leopards,” they climb and run with agility, and are good swimmers. The fur trade nearly drove ocelots to extinction, but today they have rebounded; even so, they’re threatened by habitat destruction, poaching and vehicle collisions

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