Helping Wildlife Move: One Researcher’s Journey Studying and Promoting Wildlife Crossings in the U.S.

Helping Wildlife Move: One Researcher’s Journey Studying and Promoting Wildlife Crossings in the U.S.

Join us as Dr. Patricia Cramer has an engaging and informative conversation with Logan Christian about her career studying and promoting wildlife crossings in the United States. Dr. Cramer has 25 years of experience helping identify, prioritize, and implement wildlife crossings to save both human and animal lives. Her insights are invaluable for anyone interested in promoting wildlife connectivity for mountain lions and other species.

Not long ago, many were skeptical of the idea to build special bridges, underpasses and other infrastructure to help wildlife safely cross or avoid roads. Today, however, these technologies are becoming much more common thanks to the efforts of researchers like Dr. Patricia Cramer. Working in over a dozen states, Dr. Cramer collaborates with wildlife managers, transportation planners and many others to identify critical wildlife corridors and choke points where wildlife crossing infrastructure could help prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions. Having kick-started her career modeling movement pathways for the Florida panther, Dr. Cramer also works diligently to ensure that planners consider mountain lions and other native carnivores in the planning and prioritization of wildlife crossings. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Cramer as she discusses what it takes to help wildlife move through the landscape in a rapidly changing world.

About Dr. Patricia Cramer

Dr. Patricia Cramer is an independent wildlife scholar. For the past 18 years she has researched wildlife crossing structures and worked to include wildlife concerns in the transportation planning process, with the goal of reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions while promoting wildlife connectivity across landscapes. Her research projects include three national level projects, and work with 14 departments of transportation, mainly in the western U.S. Patricia earned her PhD from the University of Florida in Wildlife Conservation, a Master’s Degree from Montana State University in Wildlife Ecology, and undergraduate degree in wildlife from State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry.

Mountain Lions in an Era of Rapid Climate and Land-use Change

Mountain Lions in an Era of Rapid Climate and Land-use Change

The mountain lion is a widely distributed carnivore, found in tropical and temperate latitudes throughout the western hemisphere. Its habitat requirements are highly generalized, being largely defined by the presence of ungulate prey and stalking cover. The species has demonstrated incredible tenacity in the face of anthropogenic pressures during the past century. Nevertheless, western landscapes are undergoing rapid changes stemming from human population growth, land-use, and climate desiccation, raising questions about the persistence of this iconic species. Dr. David Stoner explores the relationship between mountain lions and the ecological communities that support them in an era of climate change. Dr. Stoner argues that as an obligate carnivore, mountain lions should follow the changes in the distribution of their primary herbivore prey along gradients of habitat connectivity and land-use. However, drying of western ecosystems will make human subsidized landscapes increasingly important to both mountain lions and their prey, with commensurate increases in the potential for human-wildlife conflict.

About Dr. David Stoner

Dr. David Stoner is a Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer in the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. He is a graduate of the University of California and Utah State University. Over the past 25 years he has worked with state wildlife agencies in California, Utah, and Nevada on scientific investigations of mountain lions and their major prey species. He is currently focused on interactions between mule deer, mountain lions, and wild horses in the southern Great Basin.

CANCELLED: Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return: A Conversation with Author Valerie Vierk

Event Cancelled:
Mountain Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return: A Conversation with Author Valerie Vierk

October 14, 2021 @ 1:00PM — 2:30PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) includes limited live Q&A afterwards.

Unfortunately, due to poor weather and technological issues, this event has been cancelled. We will send out details on rescheduling or alternate options soon.

Join us for a conversation with author Valerie Vierk as she discusses her book – “Mountain Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return” with the Mountain Lion Foundation’s own Jessica Janson.

About Valerie Vierk:
Valerie Vierk is an author who writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. A writer since her earliest years, in 2005 she published her first book, Gold Stars and Purple Hearts—the War Dead of the Ravenna Area.

Valerie’s sixth book, Mountain Lions in Nebraska—The Golden Ghosts Return, covers a brief history of mountain lions during the colonial times of the United States. It then weaves a tale of the lion in Nebraska during the early 1900s, moving into the “modern era” and the first documented killing of a cougar in the northwestern part of the state. The book tells the history of the often contentious issue of the big golden cats returning to their former homes in the Midwest after an absence of over a hundred years. Mountain Lions In Nebraska also gives brief histories of Nebraska’s neighboring states that allow trophy hunting of mountain lions–South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming. The book is richly illustrated with 90 photos, many taken by the author, plus political cartoons, maps, and charts.

Valerie’s fascination with mountain lions started in childhood. She believes it was prompted by her mother reading her and her brother Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. In this book, Pa Ingalls tells of a “black panther” chasing him and his horse through the woods. Garth Williams provided two sketches on the black panther and years later, upon looking at the book again, realized that was probably where her fascination for cougars began.

Additionally, Valerie is a life-long nature lover. She credits her late mother, Virginia, with introducing her to nature at a young age. Since 1974, Valerie has maintained a large bluebird trail to help the eastern bluebirds that are in need of housing since natural nesting sites are in short supply. In 2021, Valerie has a 140 box bluebird trail.

In 2012 she founded a non-profit titled “Holly Jean’s Hope Cat Spaying” to help the unowned cats of her little town of Ravenna, population 1,340. Years later this organization now feeds many cats each day in three locations.

Purchase Valerie’s book here:
Mountain Lions in Nebraska: The Golden Ghosts Return