The Florida Panther: Life And Death Of A Vanishing Carnivore

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Island Press, 16.07.2012 - 278 Seiten
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When the first field study of the Florida panther took place in 1973, so little was known about the animal that many scientists believed it was already extinct. During more extensive research conducted from 1981 to 1986, panthers were proven to exist, but the handful of senile, anemic, and parasite-infested specimens that were captured indicated a grim future. During those early years a remarkably enduring image of the panther was born, and despite voluminous data gathered over the next decade that showed the panther to be healthy, long-lived, and reproducing, that earlier image has yet to be dispelled.For nine years, biologist David S. Maehr served as project leader of the Florida Panther Study Project, helping to gather much of the later, surprisingly positive data. In The Florida Panther, he presents the first detailed portrait of the animal -- its biology, natural history, and current status -- and a realistic assessment of its prospects for survival.Maehr also provides an intriguing look at the life and work of a field biologist: how captures are made, the intricacies of radio-telemetry tracking, the roles of various team members. He describes the devastating intrusion of politics into scientific work, as he discusses the widespread problems caused by the failure of remote and ill-informed managers to provide needed support and to communicate effectively to the public the goals and accomplishments of the scientists. He examines controversial efforts to establish a captive breeding program and to manipulate the Florida panther's genetic stock with the introduction of relatives from west Texas.Protection of high-quality habitat, much of it in the hands of private landowners, is the key to the long-term survival of the Florida panther. Unless agency decisionmakers and the public are aware of the panther's true situation, little can be done to save it. This book will play a vital role in correcting widespread misconceptions about the panther's current condition and threats to its survival.
 

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Inhalt

1 Getting Our Feet Wet
1
2 The Panthers Landscape
23
3 An Elusive Identity
39
4 The Nuts and Bolts of Tracking
51
5 A Changing Perspective
65
6 Sex Space and Panther Society
75
7 Panthers in the Landscape
101
8 The Lure of Captive Breeding
121
12 Living in the Envelope
179
13 The Panthers Eden
195
14 Muddling Toward a Solution
209
15 The Panthers Uncertain Future
225
Epilogue
233
Vital Statistics of Florida Panthers
235
Bibliography
237
Index
249

9 Into the Panthers Den
135
10 Disturbing Revelations
149
11 Number 44 and the Panther Gauntlet
163
About the Author
261
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Über den Autor (2012)

David S. Maehr is assistant professor of conservation biology in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky. He is author of the forthcoming title Large Mammal Restoration (Island Press, 2001), due out in the fall of 2001.

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