Populations Rise

1. As populations rise in a limited habitat range, population density increases. As density increases, what patterns might we expect to see in terms of mortality due to intraspecific aggression? 2. What other density dependent and density independent factors may also impact the panther population? 3. How about competition for other resources? 4. The roadway bisecting this habitat is a hotspot for collisions. What measures could be implemented to reduce human related panther mortality? 5. How much habitat is available to panthers dispersing northward? What strategies could wildlife organizations take to manage these increasing populations? 6. What are the limiting factors facing further expansion of the panther populations? 7. Panthers historically occupied the highest trophic level in the food web of the southeastern United States. In their absence, non-native predators have moved into the open niche, like the coyote. Do you believe coyotes occupying habitats northward of the panther’s current range would be a significant source of interspecific competition for dispersing panthers? 8. How does this laboratory exercise fit within the context of our environmental science and sustainability course?

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