|In December, we donated 1% to a species close to home, supporting Panthera’s Puma Project to protect these big cats from human conflict and habitat loss.
Panthera: Connecting puma habitats.
Pumas – or mountain lions – used to be spread across the whole of North and South America. They were almost driven to extinction several hundred years ago in the north, and now they are declining across their range.
As a business, we pledge to give 1% monthly to endangered species. We have chosen to support Panthera’s work to learn more about our native species of big cat and protect them from habitat loss and human conflict.
A cat of many names
Puma. Cougar. Mountain lion. Panther. The puma holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of common-use names for any animal species. That’s because its historic range was so large, spreading the length of the Americas from northern Canada to the southern tip of South America.
Pumas have a reputation for being solitary hunters – but this just demonstrates how little we know about pumas. In the last ten years, footage has shown a different side to pumas. Scientists have seen cubs play fight in the snow, young males cuddling with their moms, and even adult pumas sharing food. Check out some recent footage filmed by Panthera!
However, pumas are in decline across the majority of their range, due to the threats and challenges of human expansion. As we spread out to find new land for farming, or build new roads to connect our cities, we come into closer contact with pumas – something neither they nor us want.
Panthera’s Olympic Cougar Project
Panthera is the only non-profit that works to protect every species of big cat across the world. Their Puma Program aims to decrease puma killings by at least 20% in critical sites and expand the puma’s range through collaboration, research, and education.
On the Washington Olympic peninsula, their greatest challenge is habitat fragmentation. All animal species need genetic diversity to remain strong, but the Olympic puma population has been mostly cut off from other western puma habitats because of human building and development between Seattle and the Colombia River. There is already evidence that the pumas residing in the Olympic peninsula are less diverse than other populations because of their isolation.
Working with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Washington State, Panthera is mapping puma activity to understand the best way to connect this isolated population with the mainland species. Find out more on Panthera’s website.
Protecting the future
As individuals and businesses, we can help. Many people mistrust pumas because of widely-held myths about their activity. But Panthera scientists are debunking these myths and showing the true lives of pumas every year. By sharing footage and accurate information about pumas, we can reduce the fear of these cats and promote co-existence.
You can also donate to enable programs like Panthera’s to continue, pledging your dollars towards a future where human success doesn’t come at the expense of big cats. We are incredibly proud to support organizations working to protect species in need – and this is possible thanks to our clients, who choose us and our commitment to the planet.
We’d like to thank you, and wish you a happy holiday season.