Big Cypress Blog
With the extensive dry down its been a busy fire season. More than 80,000 acres have burned so far.
Turner River Nest
Lostmans Pines Nest
Concho Billie Trail
When a female panther stays in one location for more than five days, she is usually giving birth to kittens. If she has a simple VHF collar we will go to the area and try to triangulate her exact location without disturbing her so that she does not move away from her kittens. If she has a GPS collar it will download her location and save us that step.
Searching for a den is always a challenge. Florida Panthers usually den in very dense saw palmetto thickets. The dense vegetation comes with saw teeth on the palmettos and the many thorny vines. It’s a great place for a den, offering protection from the sun and rain. The tangle of vegetation makes it impossible to approach the den without making a lot of noise.
For several years we have worn body cameras trying to capture what a den search is like. At first we used GoPro cameras on a head strap. The video quality was great but it was impossible to keep the camera in place crawling through the thick vegetat
In 2007, we initiated a 4-year study of Big Cypress fox squirrels within the Raccoon Point region of Big Cypress National Preserve. Our findings on home range, movements, habitat use, nest use, and diet of Big Cypress fox squirrels in their natural habitats have recently been published. You can download the article from the Journal of Mammalogy.
Yesterday we visited with K-448 and K-449, the daughter and son of FP-180. They are three weeks old. The puffiness around their eyes is from mosquito bites.
Dave Onorato with FWC report that "The remains of a 4.3 year old radiocollared female Florida panther (FP219) were recovered on 18 September 2015 on Interstate 75 just west of exit 101 in Collier County. The cause of death was collision with a vehicle. FP219 was initially handled by FWC as a kitten (K334) at the den of FP188 in May of 2011 in Lee County (photo 1). She was then captured by FWC at 3 months of age after the death of FP188 and raised in captivity with her sibling (photo 2) at White Oak (a conservation center in Yulee, Florida). She was released back into the wild on 31 January 2013 in the Picayune Strand State Forest (photo 3). FWC documented two litters for FP219 during the period she was monitored in the wild. The carcass is currently at the FWC Naples Field Office and will be sent to the FWC Wildlife Research Lab in Gainesville lab for a complete necropsy. This is the 27th Florida panther mortality and 18th road m
With Erika approaching Southwest Florida, Gisela and I went to Raccoon Point to remove the accoustic bat monitors. We followed a thunderstorm up Eleven Mile Road but managed to stay out of the rain as we walked the two miles throught the swamp to retrieve the monitors. Our reward for the un-planned swamp walk is below.