Six Ways We can Help Save the Wild Cats of the Sky Islands

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BY EMILY BURNS:

Every wild cat’s life is a journey in search of water, food, shelter, and mates.

In our modern world, cats face many obstacles that cut them off from resources they need to thrive … or even cut their lives short. And yet there is so much that we together can do save the wild cats around us.

In the Sky Island region, four species of cats roam between mountain ranges in Mexico and the U.S. – ocelot, jaguar, bobcat, and mountain lion. Many large cats avoid human communities, while others like the bobcat commonly live in our neighborhoods.

We need to protect pathways for cats as they move across their habitat by making highway crossings safer and restoring corridors across the international border. We need to manage our watersheds to provide reliable water sources for cats to drink year-round and food they need to survive.

As individuals, we also make daily choices that can work to protect cats and enhance their habitat. Here are six ways we can support these incredible species:

  • Drive carefully near open space, especially at night, to avoid potential collisions with cats on the road.
  • Make your home a safe space for wild cats by:
    • Choosing to manage rodents safely around your house by not using rodenticides that poison rats and predators alike.
    • Offering clean and consistent water in your backyard to help cats on the move stay hydrated as they pass through.
    • Planting a diverse garden of native plants that support a variety of wildlife species, including prey that cats depend on for food.
  • Reduce conflict with cats by closely supervising your pets and livestock to reduce the risk of predation.
  • Choose to reach for a camera, not a gun, if a wild cat crosses your path.

It is up to us to provide safe passage for these remarkable animals in our communities.

For more information about how you can support our wild cats in your community, check out our 1,000 Cats Project, a community-driven network that will allow Sky Island Alliance, partnering organizations, and binational volunteers to collect wild cat data and take meaningful actions to protect the habitats of jaguar, ocelot, mountain lion, and bobcat.

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