Where the Lions Are…

My friend in Montana just purchased these two original paintings for his home on Flathead Lake. These are paintings of Florida panthers, a U.S. subspecies of mountain lion, listed as critically endangered on the endangered species list. There are less than 150 Florida panthers left in the wild. I’ve named them EFEKI (Seminole for Heart) and ILA (Seminole for Arrow).

According to the The National Wildlife Federation, due to conservation efforts, mountain lion populations in the western United States are stable, although far lower than they were historically. While there are still several thousand mountain lions in the wild, their population has significantly decreased from their historical population due to unsustainable hunting, habitat destruction, and conflicts with livestock.

Mountain lions are an “umbrella species” for conservation because their conservation depends on the preservation of large amounts of habitat. A mountain lion usually requires about 13 times as much area as a black bearĀ or 40 times as much area as a bobcat to thrive. By preserving enough wilderness to support a stable mountain lion population, countless other species of plants and animals that share mountain lion habitat benefit.

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