Puma of Patagonia Video

The Cougar or Mountain Lion of North America is known as Puma in South America. The range of this big cat extends from The Yukon in Canada down to the tip of the Americas, and their appearance varies from the north to the south. This is an amazing video of the most southerly cats!

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In April of 2014, Thomas D. Mangelsen traveled to Patagonia to photograph wild pumas. Join him on this “Wild Encounter” with the greatest cat of the Americas!

The amazing ears of the Caracal

Desert and grassland carnivores of all kinds rely heavily on their superb hearing to survive. Hunting over vast open distances, it is essential that they be able to hear the squeaks and chirps of their prey so they know which direction to go.

In this wonderful video from The Smithsonian, we learn that the Caracal uses 20 muscles – in three distinct groups – to independently control each of those large tufted ears. They act as super sensitive parabolic sound antennas, and the long tufts at the tips are thought to enhance their hearing by funneling sounds into the ears.

The Caracal is also famous for their impressive leaps straight into the air, swatting birds in flight at the same time. They are truly remarkable hunters.

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Wildlife is in crisis. Poaching is out of control.

  • 97% of the tiger population has been killed in the last 100 years
  • 35,000 elephants are killed each year, more than are being born
  • 5000% increase in rhino poaching in the last ten years

United for Wildlife is fighting the illegal wildlife trade with some powerful friends. Join their side and help spread the word.





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No Canada Lynx Recovery Plan Until 2018

CP_LA108-69_2014_203210_lowBILLINGS, Mont. – U.S. wildlife officials revealed Monday that they expect to complete a recovery plan for imperilled Canada lynx in early 2018 — almost two decades after the snow-loving wild cats first received federal protections.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laid out that timetable in court documents filed as part of a federal lawsuit in Montana brought by environmentalists unhappy with prior delays.

Lynx were designated a federally protected threatened species in 2000. Since then, federal officials have repeatedly missed their own deadlines to start work on a plan to help the animals. Officials have blamed budget limitations, other species that took priority and lawsuits that challenged the government’s designation of critical habitat for the animals.

In the Lower 48 states, lynx are rarely seen across a 14-state range that includes portions of the Northeast, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes and the Cascade Range of Washington and Oregon. There is no reliable estimate of its population size.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy last month expressed frustration with the government’s progress on the recovery document and gave officials 30 days to craft a schedule. He said the “stutter-step” approach taken to date by the agency necessitated court intervention.

The lawsuit was brought last year by Friends of the Wild Swan, Rocky Mountain Wild, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and the San Juan Citizens Alliance. They have argued that the government should be pushing ahead on the habitat and recovery issues simultaneously to keep the lynx from edging closer to extinction.

The groups’ attorney, Matthew Bishop, on Monday criticized the latest schedule offered by the government.

“Asking for nearly four additional years to complete a long overdue recovery plan — without any interim deadlines for completing a draft plan or updates to ensure progress is being made — seems unreasonable to me,” Bishop said.

In a written declaration filed with the court, a senior federal wildlife official said the additional time is needed because of budget constraints and staffing issues.

Complicating the work is the lynx’s huge range and the uncertain role that climate change could play in its survival, said Michael Thabault, assistant regional director for the Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The scale, scope and complexity of this plan factor in our proposed timeline,” Thabault said.

A response from the plaintiffs in the case is due in 15 days.

Canada Lynx Research Using Remote Cameras

Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) detection and behaviour using remote cameras during the breeding season

Shannon M. Crowley, Dexter P. Hodder, Karl W. Larsen
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The efficacy of surveys in detecting Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) can vary considerably by geographic area. We conducted surveys using digital passive infrared trail video-cameras from January to April 2013, during the breeding season of the Canada Lynx, in the John Prince Research Forest in central British Columbia. We used snow-track surveys to test the efficacy of our camera surveys. We measured trail camera detection rates by survey week and location and we noted Canada Lynx activity and behaviours recorded by the cameras. The detection rate increased between January and April, reaching a peak of 8 Canada Lynx/100 camera-days in early April. Canada Lynx spent more time at camera sites displaying behaviours such as scent-marking and cheek-rubbing in late March. The combination of both snow-track and trail camera surveys was especially effective, with Canada Lynx detected at 77% of all monitored sites. Depending on survey objectives, it may be beneficial to conduct camera as well as other non-invasive survey methods for Canada Lynx during the breeding season, when survey efficacy and detection rates are maximized.
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Read the full paper Canadian Field Naturalist Vol 127, No 4 (2013)

How Did The Lynx Cross The Road?

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The biggest threat to the future of the small Texas Ocelot population is the highway. One transplanted Canada Lynx in Colorado found her way home over 1,500 km, which must have required crossing a great number of busy roads. No matter the size, wildlife around the world is being struck and killed by ever increasing volumes of traffic.

Canada lynx on wildlife overpass
Canada lynx on wildlife overpass

Highway Wilding is a collaborative research project focused on getting wildlife safely across highways. The project builds on over 15 years of world-renowned research demonstrating that wildlife crossing structures are effective at both reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and ensuring that animals are able to move freely throughout their habitat. The construction of wildlife crossing structures has proven to be less expensive than the costs associated with a “business as usual” approach, including the costs of vehicle damage and human injury.

Cougar family using highway underpass
Cougar family using highway underpass

Build them and they will live. That is the simple message of Highway Wilding, a short documentary exploring highway-wildlife conflicts and the pioneering solutions that are preventing roadkill and reconnecting landscapes in Western Canada. Here in the Rocky Mountains we have a unique opportunity to maintain a fully functioning mountain ecosystem, but highways remain a significant barrier to ecosystem health and connectivity. Everything from grizzly bears and cougar to ducks and salamanders need to cross roads safely to meet their life needs, and these critical connections are increasingly threatened by highway expansion. After seeing Highway Wilding, you will never look at highways the same way again.

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Photos and video courtesy Highway Wilding. For more information see Highwaywilding.org