Articles, opinions, and editorials about mountain lions and the Mountain Lion Foundation.
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Florida Panthers and Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers Sue Collier County, Florida (8/23/2013)
Suit was filed Wednesday against Collier County. The lead plaintiffs are listed as "Florida panthers" and "red-cockaded woodpeckers."
The lawsuit was sparked by a warning sent last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to Collier County officials informing them that their recent settlement agreement with HHH Ranch "may have violated" the Federal Endangered Species Act. The letter went on to state, "The activities the county has approved . . . could result in the take of federally protected species, and the county could be liable for violating federal law."
USFWS' warning was aimed at protecting Florida panthers and red-cockaded woodpeckers, two species on the endangered species list that have been found on the 1,100-acre HHH Ranch near Naples, Florida.
The USFWS letter also noted that the owners of the ranch have been allowed by Collier County to clear land, cut timber, extend a road and push ahead with plans for a rock mine despite a local land use rule which bans mining and limits development in North Belle Meade. That particular rule was emplaced in 2002 to better protect the aquifer and wildlife habitat.
HHH Ranch's attorney called USFWS' letter "a scare tactic" based on one-sided information. He claims that the ranch's landowners have repeatedly consulted with biologists on how to avoid harming panthers or woodpeckers.
Co-plaintiffs in the suit include the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Collier County Audubon Society.
(Article #1449) To read the actual news story click here...
40th Confirmed Sighting of a Mountain Lion in Missouri (8/22/2013)
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has announced the 40th confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in that state since 1994. The confirmation is based on an image of the lion recorded on June 29th by a trail camera in Pulaski County.
According to MDC's Mountain Lion Response Team, evidence indicates the mountain lions being spotted are most likely from states to the west and are passing through Missouri in search of mates or territory.
To learn more about mountain lions in Missouri visit MLF's state page and view a six minute YouTube video created by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
(Article #1448) To read the actual news story click here...
Senate Bill 132 passes the California Assembly (8/20/2013)
Twenty-three years ago, Proposition 117, the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990, was groundbreaking in its protection of mountain lions. Now, California Senate Bill 132 utilizes the scientific knowledge gained over the years to continue the tradition of this landmark legislation.
SB 132 delineates exactly what "imminent threat to public health and safety" means, and for those incidents which are not deemed life threatening, SB 132 would require CDFW to utilize non-lethal procedures when dealing with mountain lions that come into contact with humans. SB 132 also authorizes CDFW to partner with those qualified individuals and NGOs that might be able to assist the Department in carrying out its new "non-lethal" duties.
More information about Senate Bill 132, its history and status can be found here.
Senate Bill 132 is expected to appear on the Senate floor for a concurrence vote on Thursday, August 22nd.
(Article #1447) To read the actual news story click here...
15th Florida Panther Killed This Year (8/19/2013)
A three-year-old, uncollared female panther was found dead Monday after being struck by a vehicle along Interstate 75. This is the twelfth mortal accident involving cars and panthers in Florida this year and brings the annual death toll to 15.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission list the other causes of panther deaths as unknown or fights with other panthers. Scientists estimate that there are between 100 and 160 wild panthers left in Florida, with even this small number of animals running out of room due to human development.
(Article #1446) To read the actual news story click here...
Florida Fish and Wildlife Proves Once Again - Most Lion Sightings are False (8/16/2013)
A year ago, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) set up a new website and invited the public to submit reports of any sightings or signs of the elusive Florida panther. But out of the 790 reports submitted, FFWCC biologists were only able to verify that five percent were actual sightings of panthers.
In fact, the very first submitted report, along with its photographic evidence, turned out to actually be a photograph of a rhesus macaque monkey roaming the woods near Silver Springs.
According to Darrell Land, Head of the FFWCC's panther team, the genuine panther sightings that appeared on the wildlife commission's website were mixed with sightings of bobcats, foxes, coyotes, dogs and one that was almost as puzzling as the monkey.
"I had a biology professor from a community college who said he saw one at Sebastian Inlet," Land said. When state biologists checked his photo though, Land said they had to tell the professor, "Dude, that is a black house cat."
(Article #1445) To read the actual news story click here...
Senate Bill 132 passes the California Assembly's Appropriations Committee (8/15/2013)
Yesterday, the California Assembly's Appropriations Committee passed Senate Bill 132.
For those incidents which are not deemed life threatening, SB 132 would require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to utilize non-lethal procedures when dealing with mountain lions that come into contact with humans.
SB 132 would also authorize CDFW to partner with those qualified individuals and NGOs that might be able to assist the Department in carrying out its new "non-lethal" duties. A good example of these potential cooperative efforts took place in mid-June when CDFW wardens and local law enforcement personnel worked with mountain lion researchers from U.C. Santa Cruz to tranquilize and relocate a mountain lion that had become trapped in a flood canal.
More information about Senate Bill 132, its history and status, as well as legislative contact information can be found here.
Senate Bill 132 is expected to appear on the Assembly floor for a vote on Monday, August 19th.
(Article #1444) To read the actual news story click here...
Young Wandering Lion Killed in Peoria Arizona (8/14/2013)
Last night, a Peoria, Arizona police officer shot and killed a mountain lion. The young lion was reportedly seen jumping from yard to yard in the Phoenix suburb that abuts an open space before being confronted by responding police and Arizona Game and Fish officers.
According to Peoria police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto, incident responders were attempting to capture the animal to return it to the wild, but at some point an officer felt threatened and shot the mountain lion.
Though a detailed explanation of the event's lethal outcome has not yet been made publicly available, Ms. Jacinto did recite the standard excuse that lion wasn't afraid of humans.
Arizona Game and Fish wardens took the lion carcass away for rabies testing.
(Article #1443) To read the actual news story click here...
NRA Adds Shadowy Network of Enviros and Zoos to their Enemies List (8/9/2013)
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is in an uproar over California's Assembly Bill 711. It claims that AB 711, which bans using lead ammunition for hunting, is a plot hatched up by radicals to ultimately ban hunting.
In order to rally its members to oppose the regulation, the NRA has concocted a conspiracy theory involving crooked scientists, phony research, and a shadowy network of nonprofits, zoos and government agencies.
"Self-proclaimed environmental organizations are pushing to prohibit the use of traditional lead ammunition in hunting and recreational shooting," the NRA said. "These radical groups are now going so far as to claim that eating wild game taken with lead ammunition is a serious health risk to hunters and families. Anti-lead ammunition groups will not rest until all lead ammunition, and ultimately hunting, is abandoned."
The NRA, which has long-labeled politicians and actors as "enemies" of guns, has now added the San Diego Zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, the California Condor Recovery Team, as well as assorted environmentalists and scientists to its list of enemies for their support of AB 711. The NRA claims these groups "have considerable influence over many legislators and regulators, which they use to 'capture' the regulatory agencies and bureaucrats responsible for lead ammunition restrictions."
The "listing" of these organizations is all part of a new campaign called Hunt for Truth launched by the NRA to, as they see it, expose and "fight back against the assault on traditional lead ammunition by targeting the groups and individuals behind this unconscionable attack on American values."
The NRA claims that the science backing AB 711 is murky and misleading, and driven by an anti-hunting, anti-gun agenda. In a press release announcing its revamped website, the NRA referred to its opponents—"these radical groups"—as "self-proclaimed" environmental organizations using "questionable scientific methodologies" to analyze "cherry-picked data."
The Natural Resources Defense Council, reacted with bafflement at the NRA's listing. "We don't have a problem with bullets or hunting," said Josh Mogerman of the Council. "We have a problem with lead: Lead in gas, lead in paint, lead in the air. It's a toxin that we need to get out of the environment since reams of science has shown it to be a problem to people and animals. If that somehow makes us an enemy, then we are in good company since most everyone recognizes the threat. Luckily, there are plenty of non-lead alternatives that perform the same or better than lead."
Despite the NRA's claims, several peer reviewed studies have shown that as many as 20 million birds, including endangered California condors, die each year from lead poisoning after ingesting bullet fragments. According to a statement from scientific experts in lead and environmental health, ammunition is likely the greatest unregulated source of lead released into the environment.
Assembly Bill 711 passed the Assembly in May and is currently working its way through the Senate.
(Article #1442) To read the actual news story click here...
California Wildlife Officials Say New Mountain Lion Policy Showing Positive Results (8/8/2013)
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), new public safety guidelines enacted after the killing of two starving mountain lion kittens in Half Moon Bay last December have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of lions being killed without increasing the risk to public safety.
The new Department guidelines, modeled in part on pending legislation (Senate Bill 132), allows for more non-lethal options when there is an interaction between a mountain lion and humans.
"Last year, I directed the department's leadership team to evaluate our guidelines on how we respond to interactions with mountain lions and bears to determine how we can do better," said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. "I'm pleased that we have struck the balance and are witnessing fewer mountain lions killed without sacrificing any wildlife officer's authority to make the correct public safety call for each situation."
Since the new policy was implemented, CDFW has ordered equipment for field staff to better handle the non-lethal means of handling human wildlife conflict calls. Many of the mountain lion and bear incidents that have happened have resulted in hazing wildlife away from the area of high public use or the darting and relocation of the animal, rather than lethal take. In one incident in January, a lion in Santa Barbara was relocated to the Los Padres National Forest. In another incident in Santa Cruz in May, a lion had fallen into a culvert and could not jump out. He was darted and later released in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest. These are just two of many incidents that have ended non-lethally.
"Sometimes you can find a mountain lion or bear in an unusual location otherwise behaving normally," said CDFW Law Enforcement Chief Mike Carion. "It isn't always a threat to public safety. Every situation is unique. We are pleased that this policy allows us to evaluate each situation carefully and to choose a solution which allows a co-existence between humans and wildlife while allowing discretion to act when there is a public safety issue."
KCOY Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo - News
(Article #1441) To read the actual news story click here...
High Water Levels in Everglades Could Threaten the Florida Panther (8/7/2013)
According to Commissioner Ron Bergeron of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, too much water is turning Florida's "River of Grass" into "Lake Everglades" and that could have a devastating impact on the Everglades and its inhabitants.
Record rainfall this spring and summer has led to the highest water levels ever recorded for this time of year in the Everglades water conservation areas, and with three more months of rainy season left, Commissioner Bergeron is concerned that there will be a repeat of the 1994 disaster where high water levels killed 80-90 percent of the white-tailed deer in the Everglades, along with raccoons, wild hogs, opossums, bobcats, rabbits and other wildlife. The animals either drowned, succumbed to disease from being crowded onto the few bits of high ground that weren't underwater or starved to death.
According to Commissioner Bergeron, 90 percent of the Everglades' tree islands are totally underwater and the deer and other wildlife are already stressed. If a tropical storm or hurricane were to hit South Florida now and dump even more rain, an environmental disaster is a certainty. Bergerson wants to preempt a possible wildlife die-off by allowing excess water to flow south under Tamiami Trail. From there it would go into Everglades National Park and the C-111 Canal on into Florida Bay. The problem is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead agency on Everglades restoration, has been slow to act.
Lt. Col. Thomas Greco, the Deputy District Commander for South Florida agrees that water needs to be sent south but he has two concerns. The first is delaying completion of the Tamiami Trail road construction project and second, possibly even damaging the road by raising water levels too high in the L-29 canal. "The last thing we want to do is jeopardize that road and our folks in dealing with construction for several more months," Greco said.
Bergeron, who has decades of road-building experience, said the road project is so far along that raising the water level in the adjacent canal would not affect it and if it looked like it might be an issue, the flow could be stopped.
"And even if the project was delayed 30 days,' said Bergeron, 'what's more important: Saving money on the road contract or saving the Everglades?"
(Article #1440) To read the actual news story click here...
Wayward Lion Captured and Relocated in Ft. Collins, Colorado (8/6/2013)
Fort Collins police and firefighters quickly responded to a 911 call about a mountain lion last Friday afternoon. The young lion was spotted hiding in a tree by Barzi, a Lhasa apso-mini poodle mix, near the home of her owner Stephanie Carney.
A public alert to stay indoors was sent out to neighbors and a four-block radius was cordoned off with yellow tape as responders waited for a veterinarian to arrive on the scene.
According to Mark Leslie, area wildlife manager with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, though dart guns were available they were not used because the mountain lion was low enough in the tree to be jabbed in the hindquarters with a hand-held tranquilizer.
After being jabbed with the tranquilizer, the lion ran about two blocks with firefighters and police following before finally collapsing in a backyard.
Four firefighters then carried the male lion, estimated to be 1 1/2-years-old and weighing 60 pounds to a nearby kennel, where it was later loaded on to a truck and relocated in the hills west of Fort Collins.
(Article #1439) To read the actual news story click here...
South Dakota Wants to Kill 75 Lions - No Matter How Long It Takes! (8/5/2013)
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission voted unanimously Friday for a 2014 mountain lion hunting season quota of 75 mountain lions or 50 females. This is a reduction from this year's quota of 100 lions or 50 females, but still far above the actual harvest numbers of 61 mountain lions including 35 females.
In a case of wanting x amount of lions killed, no matter how long it takes, the Commission discounted the fact that this year's hunting mortality numbers may be a result of population collapse and reserved the right to extend the season if once again the quota isn't met by March 31st.
(Article #1438) To read the actual news story click here...
South Dakota 2014 Lion Hunt Quota to be Decided Today (8/1/2013)
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission will decide on the 2014 Mountain Lion Hunting regulations and quotas at their meeting in Watertown later this afternoon.
Informed sources have told the Mountain Lion Foundation that the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks will propose maintaining the 2013 hunting season quota of 100 lions or 70 females. The Department apparently does not believe that the inability to reach that quota last year was a sign of a collapsing species population. Excuses such as bad hunting conditions because of lack of snow and comments about "wily" behavior have been made to justify this year's season poor results.
(Article #1437) To read the actual news story click here...
Yucaipa Lion Safely Captured and Released Back into the Wild (7/30/2013)
Awaken Saturday morning by the barking of his dogs, a Yucaipa, California resident discovered a young mountain lion perched bout 25 feet up in his tree. San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputies responded to the call and quickly contained the situation by ordering all residents and spectators into their homes and blocking off two nearby residential streets in case the lion tried to escape.
The responding California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) warden evaluated the situation, determined there was no "imminent threat" to the public and decided to tranquilize the animal with a dart.
After being shot with the dart, the lion quietly stayed in its lofty perch until falling asleep whereupon CalFire firefighters carefully lowered the animal to the ground. Upon examination it was determined that the lion was a healthy, slightly underweight, two-year-old female weighing approximately 75-pounds.
Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for CDFW said "the major reason a cat comes into a populated area is in search of food. The big picture is habitat loss. There is no indication or science that the cat population is increasing."
The peacefully sleeping lion was taken to the San Bernardino National Forest and released back into the wild.
(Article #1436) To read the actual news story click here...
New Mexico Deputies Shoot Up School to kill a Lion (7/26/2013)
A young mountain lion that had wandered into Roswell, New Mexico was killed by local police Wednesday night.
The lion was first spotted around 8 p.m. walking near Southeast Main and Chisum Street. In its attempt to escape responding police, the scared lion jumped over fences and crossed several back yards. Chaves County Sheriff Deputies were called in to assist in containing the animal near Pecos Elementary School.
At that point the lion's possible attempt to evade the surrounding humans was characterized as "aggressive" behavior and Sheriff Deputies open fire killing the lion and shooting up the school.
(Article #1435) To read the actual news story click here...
New Federal Bill To Increase Hunters Rights Introduced (7/24/2013)
On July 18, 2013, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Sportsmen's Act (S. 1335), a conglomeration of several bills dealing with hunting, fishing, and access to public lands.
There are many similarities between this package and the 2012 Sportsmen's Package introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) which narrowly failed last session.
Some of the bill's highlights include:
Contact your Senators and ask them to oppose this terrible bill!
(Article #1434) To read the actual news story click here...
Nebraska's Lions Threatened (7/18/2013)
On July 26th, the Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners will once again consider creating Nebraska's inaugural mountain lion hunting season based on new recommendations developed by Department staff. This new appeasement version replaces the originally proposed annual quota of only three lions or one female with a quota of four lions or two females in the Pine Ridge Management Unit and unlimited year round hunting of lions for those counties in the Prairie Management Unit.
Coupled with the use of hounds, the new proposed regulations could be a road map toward once again extirpating mountain lions from the Cornhusker state.
The Commission meeting will begin at 8 a.m. on July 26, 2013 in the third-floor conference room of Game and Parks headquarters, 2200 N. 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska
Email comments can be sent to the Commission care of: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments may also be submitted online by clicking the "Post Comment" button on Nebraska's lion hunt regulation page
Click here to download the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's new proposed mountain lion hunting regulations.
(Article #1433) To read the actual news story click here...
Three Men Accused of Killing Colossal Cave Lion (7/17/2013)
Three Vail, Arizona men - Richard C. Dailey, Martin Melvin Foersterling and Thayne A. LeFevere - face a variety of misdemeanor charges in connection with the shooting death of a female mountain lion on June 10th in Colossal Cave Mountain Park southeast of Tucson, Arizona.
Mark Hart, spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department said Dailey was cited for illegal take of wildlife, illegal take of wildlife in a closed area and illegal method of taking wildlife, involving the illegal use of a .22 caliber rifle.
Foersterling was cited for illegal take of wildlife and illegal take of wildlife in a closed area.
LeFevere was charged with making a false statement to a law enforcement officer.
Hart couldn't immediately provide information on the maximum possible penalty, but according to him, the maximum penalty for each misdemeanor is four months in jail and a $750 fine.
(Article #1432) To read the actual news story click here...
Colorado Encounter Demonstrates Lions Don't Want to Hurt People (7/16/2013)
A recent lion encounter by two Salida, Colorado residents supports MLF's contention that most mountain lions just want to get away from humans.
While preparing for a dirt bike ride on the 4th of July holiday, Marc Hartman and his twin brother Tom came upon a young mountain lion hiding behind their apartment stairs. The event, filmed on the action camera atop Tom's bike helmet shows the lion trying to escape by first running into an open garage, trying to find another exit, then running back outside and passing within a few feet of both Tom and Marc.
Marc acknowledged that he's seen mountain lions before but never this close. His one regret was that the lion scratched his car in its mad scramble to escape.
Check out the video of Marc and Tom's mountain lion encounter:
Share your comments on MLF's Facebook page.
(Article #1431) To read the actual news story click here...
Gateway for Panthers (7/15/2013)
While the recent recession has been financially devastating for many Americans, the old adage "every cloud has a silver lining" has once again been proven true; in this case for the Florida panther.
The Florida panther—like all mountain lions—is an elusive creature which needs large tracts of habitat to survive. Unfortunately in Florida, critical panther habitat is broken into many small pieces and separated by impassable roads or vast swaths of human development. Only by saving key pieces of undeveloped land to connect these separate habitats can the species avoid inbreeding and expand to once again fill its historical range.
This is the importance of a particular piece of agricultural property, just east of Labelle that was slated to become a gated community before ending up in foreclosure due to the recession. Last year, just one day before it was due to go on the auction block, a coalition of nine different government agencies and private organizations purchased the property for 6.6 million dollars.
The land, north of state road 80 and along the Caloosahatchee River has a known reputation as a wildlife corridor for panthers. Erin Myers, a biologist for US Fish and Wildlife, says "We have three male cats that we have GPS points on that have crossed exactly here on this river. The cat population starts in the Everglades. They are able to hop from a trail of conservation property to cattle ranches to this property on the river, where it's the most narrow and shallow, and the land across it is undeveloped too."
Wendy Mathews of the Nature Conservancy explains the importance of this particular property this way. "It's the bottleneck for the Florida panther moving from its territory south of the Caloosahatchee River into areas north of the Caloosahatchee. With this key connection, it means the cats can roam and breed with other cat populations—ensuring the species survival."
The acquired property will remain a cattle ranch, which under a conservation easement will never be developed. Drained for agricultural purposes 60-80 years ago, plans are underway to return the property back into its natural wetland status, thereby creating a more active wildlife corridor that will provide natural food and shelter for panthers as they migrate.
The last major roadblock to unrestricted panther travel is the planned expansion of Highway 80 which parallels Caloosahatchee River at that point. But plans are underway to construct an underpass to facilitate safe wildlife crossings.
This "gateway" with its underpass, restored habitat, and undeveloped agricultural nature is a model the state hopes to use again up and down the spine of Florida where panthers live.
(Article #1429) To read the actual news story click here...
Montana Kills Another Helpless Lion (7/11/2013)
Claiming that it was "a unique event to have an animal like a mountain lion enter a home," the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) tried to justify their actions in euthanizing a 2-year-old mountain lion.
On Tuesday, July 9th, a resident of Wilsall, Montana — a rural community of less than 300 residents — came home to find a young mountain lion that had entered through a screen door and was now hiding in their bedroom. When MFWP officials arrived on scene, the mountain lion moved into a bathtub in an attempt to avoid humans. Game wardens quickly tranquilized the wayward lion and transported it to Bozeman where it was later euthanized.
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks post a list of relocated wildlife dating back to the year 2009. No mountain lion is listed as ever having been relocated in the state.
In a Montana Public Radio interview back in January, MFWP Wildlife Program Manager Jim Williams noted, "We do have rare instances where an animal, a lion, takes up residence under a deck, or an old storage barn, we typically remove those cats. We do not transplant cats and move them and release them elsewhere, we typically remove them because they have a real strong tendency to come back."
Scientific research has shown that while an established adult lion may return to a home range if relocated, dispersal-aged lions actually do well when moved away from urban areas. This lost two-year-old would have been an ideal candidate for relocation.
Wildlife officers in other western states including California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington have successfully relocated young lions.
(Article #1428) To read the actual news story click here...
A Second Lion Rescued in Gillette, Wyoming (7/10/2013)
On the evening of July 5th, a child spotted a mountain lion hiding in a Gillette, Wyoming alleyway. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Gillette Police Department quickly worked together to contain and capture the young lion.
South Gillette Game Warden Dustin Kirsch said that the lion was one-and-a-half-year-old male weighing about 90-95 pounds.
The animal was released in an undisclosed location west of town the following day.
According to authorities it is not uncommon during the spring and summer to have young mountain lions wander into the Gillette area. They often are pushed out of their home range when their mothers give birth to new kittens. (Article #1427) To read the actual news story click here...
Museum Reveals Kitten's Name (7/8/2013)
During the past month, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum ran a contest for the public to name their new mountain lion cub. After reviewing more than 1,400 names, museum staff picked their favorite.
And the winning name is.... Cruz! This is a reference to the Santa Cruz River that runs through the Sonoran Desert. And coincidentally, the lion cub was initially rescued not far from California's Santa Cruz Mountains, so "Cruz" seems very fitting. The name was submitted by Darlene Baty of Tucson, Arizona. She will now receive one year memberships to both the museum and the Mountain Lion Foundation, as well as a prize bag from MLF filled with all kinds of lion-related memorabilia.
According to the museum, "entries came in from 34 states and the District of Columbia, and 6 foreign countries. The list was narrowed down to 10, and Museum staff, docents, and volunteers voted to determine the winner."
In March, Cruz was spotted in a San Jose, California backyard. Believed to be orphaned and only 15 pounds — much too young to survive on his own — the helpless cub was rescued by California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff along with assistance from the local nonprofit, Wildlife Emergency Services. After being cared for and brought back to health at CDFW's Rancho Cordova facility, the cub was transferred to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in April.
The museum's two resident mountain lions were over 13 years old and ready to retire. Cruz has now replaced the older lions in the large enclosure viewed by the public. The senior lions will live out their retirement in a new behind the scenes habitat that offers comfortable and safe surroundings better suited to their physical limitations brought on by arthritis.
Mountain lions adjust better to life in captivity with a companion. Hopefully the museum will adopt another orphaned lion cub in the near future to house with Cruz.
To learn more about the museum and Cruz, visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's website.
Watch Cruz explore his new home:
(Article #1426) To read the actual news story click here...
A New Florida Panther Kitten Makes the Scene (6/26/2013)
An orphaned 5 month old female panther, found along with her brother in 2011, is not only doing well after being released back into the wild, she now has a one-month-old kitten.
Biologists were elated to discover the kitten with her mother last Saturday in the Fakahatchee Strand, a swampy strip of dense forest in eastern Collier County. According to Dave Onorato, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "The fact that this panther has given birth is positive news for the recovery of this endangered species and a testament to the hard work of all involved in its rescue and rehabilitation."
The mother and her brother were raised in a climate of minimal human contact at the White Oak Conservation Center in northeastern Florida. The brother was released in April in southwestern Palm Beach County.
An estimated 100 to 160 panthers remain in South Florida.
(Article #1424) To read the actual news story click here...
Feds Abandon the Florida Panther (6/21/2013)
In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it is giving up its watchdog role over Florida's endangered species in order to "streamline" the permitting process for development projects that may hurt rare plants and animals.
This means that the continued existence of several threatened species such as the Florida Panther are now in the hands of the State of Florida; an entity which in the past has more often sided with developers than wildlife.
Because of USFWS' action, Florida is now expected to start fast-tracking development projects—such as fracking for oil in the Big Cyprus region—which will eliminate even more of Florida's few remaining wild places.
What might be even worse than the threat to the Florida Panther is the precedent this action sets for all of America's wildlife. Usually the reason that the Federal Government has to step in and place a species under its protection is because an individual state's government has failed in its responsibilities to the public trust.
USFWS' decision to hand over its oversight role in Florida may just be the first step in a nationwide diminishing of the Federal Endangered Species Act.
(Article #1422) To read the actual news story click here...