Category: Radio

Pumas feel the fear near humans

Justine’s recent paper in the Proceedings of Royal Society B received quite a bit of attention from the press.  Reports about it appeared in Science, Nature, BBC and the Naked Scientists among others.  Here’s snippet from Nature

Female pumas that live near human populations hunt more often but spend less time eating their prey than do those in less populated areas.

Humans can cause declines in wildlife populations, but their effect on animal behaviour is less well understood. Justine Smith and her colleagues at the University of California, Santa Cruz, tagged 30 pumas (Puma concolor) in California and tracked their movements in areas with four different densities of human housing. They found that at kill sites near the most densely populated areas, female pumas spent 42% less time consuming their prey than those in the least populated regions. To compensate, the females in the more developed habitats killed 36% more deer.

Fear of humans is probably driving this behavioural change, which could have further ecosystem effects, such as boosting scavenger populations and even compromising the reproductive health of female pumas, the authors speculate.

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Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

An NPR Quest radio piece about road crossings affecting our study animals. Listen below.

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Study: Otters eating urchins reduces greenhouse gas

From KTOO in Juneau Alaska, a public radio piece about our sea otter research with an Alaskan twist.  Clink on the play button below to listen.

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Otters’ Effect on Kelp Offers Clues to Predators’ Link to CO2

From KUSP, another nice NPR piece about our sea otter research.  Clink on the play button below to listen.

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Otters and Climate Change

From NPR – Living on Earth a nice radio piece on our recent sea otter article.  Just press on the play button below to listen.

 

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Luring mountain lions to learn to live amongst them

From Crosscurrents on NPR, I love this radio piece about our puma project.  Pay close attention to my toothbrush quote!

Although they live all around us, encounters with lions are unusual because there just aren’t a lot of them and each lion has a large territory. In the Bay Area, males use about 200 square miles and females about 50. People are increasingly hiking and biking in mountain lion country, yet attacks remain exceedingly rare – although media hype may make it seem otherwise.

WILMERS: With over 30 million people in California and thousands of lions, there’s only been six lethal attacks in the entire history of the state. So basically that means there’s a very, very, very small probability of ever getting attacked, and if you do, of dying. You’re much more likely to die from getting struck by lightning or from impaling yourself on your toothbrush than you are from a mountain lion.

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Tracking Urban Lions

From NPR, an excellent radio spot about our puma project.  The online version has a bonus video to accompany it.

 

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