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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, December 13, 2017

Following up on yesterdays post regarding the status of the Florida Puma population, one of our blog readers, Helen McGinnis, clued me in this morning on the fact that a new, 2nd documented Mother Puma and her Cubs were seen on trail cameras north of the Caloosahatchee River.................."Documented on Nov. 22, the female puma appeared on a trail camera with two, approximately 4-month-old kittens on the Babcock Ranch Preserve in southwest Florida"............... Reiterating, this is only the second litter of panther kittens documented north of the River, which until 2016 seemed to be a barrier to expansion of the population".............. It was in March of this year, that kittens were first documented north of the River"............ "Puma kittens face an uphill battle when it comes to reaching their first birthday, with a survival rate of only 32%"........... This latest discovery offers renewed hope for the natural range expansion(and 2nd self-sustaining population) of pumas that is critical to their long-term recovery(defined as a 95% probability of persistence for 100 years----desired 240 pumas in each of 3 self-sustaining populations to be taken off Endangered Species List)" ....................For more information on the Florida panther: Support Florida panther research and management: 16K Views



Reclassification(TO NON-THREATENED STATUS) will be considered when: 1. Two viable populations of at least 240 individuals (adults and subadults) each have been established and subsequently maintained for a minimum of twelve years (two panther generations; one panther generation is six years [Seal and Lacy 1989]). xi 2.

 Cougar family north of the Caloosahatchee River-11/17/17

 Sufficient habitat quality, quantity, and spatial configuration to support these populations is retained / protected or secured for the long-term. A viable population, for purposes of Florida panther recovery, has been defined as one in which there is a 95% probability of persistence for 100 years. This population may be distributed in a metapopulation structure composed of subpopulations that total 240 individuals.

There must be exchange of individuals and gene flow among subpopulations. For reclassification, exchange of individuals and gene flow can be either natural or through management. If managed, a commitment to such management must be formally documented and funded. Habitat should be in relatively unfragmented blocks that provide for food, shelter, and characteristic movements (e.g., hunting, breeding, dispersal, and territorial behavior) and support each metapopulation at a minimum density of 2 to 5 animals per 100 square miles (259 square kilometers) (Seidensticker et al. 1973, Logan et al. 1986, Maehr et al. 1991a, Ross and Jalkotzy 1992, Spreadbury et al. 1996, Logan and Sweanor 2001, Kautz et al. 2006), resulting in a minimum of 4,800 – 12,000 square miles (12,432 – 31,080 square kilometers) per metapopulation of 240 panthers.

Babcock Ranch property-sight of the 11/17 Cougar family(north of  Caloosahatchee River-river in blue

 The amount of area needed to support each metapopulation will depend upon the quality of available habitat and the density of panthers it can support. Delisting(REMOVED FROM ENDANGERED LIST) will be considered when: 1. Three viable, self-sustaining populations of at least 240 individuals (adults and subadults) each have been established and subsequently maintained for a minimum of twelve years. xii 2. Sufficient habitat quality, quantity, and spatial configuration to support these populations is retained / protected or secured for the long-term. For delisting, exchange of individuals and gene flow among subpopulations must be natural (i.e., not manipulated or managed).

Mother Cougar north of the Caloosahatchee River

Download the complete Florida Panther Recovery Plan(revised November 1, 2008.)

Agency Experts on this Species - Want to learn more from our biologists? Contact one of our subject matter experts
David Shindle, Panther Coordinator,
Kevin Godsea, Project Leader, Southwest Florida Gulf Coast Refuge Complex,

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