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How to Restore the Florida Panther: Add a Little Texas Cougar [Slide Show]

Introducing female cougars from Texas has helped the Florida big cats rebound
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HABITAT DESTRUCTION

HABITAT DESTRUCTION
The biggest challenge facing the Florida panther may no longer be inbreeding but rather continuing habitat loss as the region's population of humans grows and expands into swampland once dominated by the big cats.....[ More ]

CAT COLLAR

CAT COLLAR
This male panther wears the radio collar that allows researchers to track his whereabouts.....[ More ]

COLLARING THE BIG CAT

COLLARING THE BIG CAT
Treed cats are also outfitted with radio collars, if possible; 182 animals have been collared since the program began in 1981. Scars on this cat's face tell the tale of struggles with other males for territory.....[ More ]

ADULT SAMPLE

ADULT SAMPLE
Scientists also sampled adult Florida panthers by hunting them (not to kill, just to obtain genetic data) with specially trained hounds. The pumas end up treed, including male FP100 pictured here, but sometimes do not stay there long enough to be tested.....[ More ]

KITTY LITTER

KITTY LITTER
A litter of three Florida panther kittens was sampled in Everglades National Park in June 2006. "You can pile up kitten samples pretty quick," says wildlife biologist Dave Onorato of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.....[ More ]

PANTHER KITTEN

PANTHER KITTEN
Researchers take blood and other samples from young kittens, such as the three-week-old pictured here in Picayune Strand State Forest in July 2006.....[ More ]

MAMA & KITTENS

MAMA & KITTENS
The introduction of eight female pumas from Texas has helped reduce inbreeding and resulted in more offspring, as evidenced by this mother and her three, still-dependent kittens, captured by an infrared-trigger camera in Picayune Strand State Forest in July 2006.....[ More ]

FLORIDA PANTHER

FLORIDA PANTHER
A male Florida panther walks down a road in the middle of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Puma populations in the state have rebounded from roughly 25 in the early 1990s to roughly 100 today.....[ More ]

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