Sentinels and Seekers

You Can Build Pride and Empathy for America’s Lions

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You Can Build Pride and Empathy for America’s Lions

In partnership with wildlife and conservation photographer, Sebastian Kennerknecht, we aim to build public pride and empathy for mountain lions as a means to change policy and potentially assist these cats in their ability to safely move through their habitat.
The Sentinels and Seekers Project
will show the pride we have in the iconic cats that are currently protected and develop empathy for those lions that are not as lucky.

PRIDE: Mountain lions occupy much of the western US. Some individuals stand guard over the most sacred of our protected lands, like Yosemite and Glacier National Parks, and the Grand Canyon. These lucky sentinels occupy about fourteen percent of puma range. By visually depicting these sentinel cougars in the most iconic of US landscapes and habitats – showing their wildness and strength – the project aims to create a sense of national pride for them and the environments we have already protected.

EMPATHY: With your support, we can raise empathy and potentially establish policy changes for three separate wildlife habitat where the potential for wildlife corridors to be established is strong. Washington, California and Arizona have key areas that cause mortality of our cats attempting to navigate through human habitat. The photographs taken at these critical points are the catalyst for the empathy needed to protect these wildlife corridors.

The comparison of sentinel and seeker cats will introduce you to individual pumas allowing a connection to be formed between humans and cats with unique personalities and characteristics. A population of animals sometimes means little to a person, an individual cat, with a given name, means everything. Your help with this project means even more.

THE LOCATIONS

Olympic Peninsula, WA

Habitat: lush temperate rainforest

Barriers: peninsula exit points are getting cut off as Seattle suburbs expand. Interstate 5 proves another seemingly impossible road to cross for the cats.

Solutions: policy action to maintain corridors, fund-raise for 1-5 overpass.

San Francisco East Bay, CA

Habitat: oak savanna

Barriers: fast paced urban sprawl will cause isolated puma populations

Solutions: policy creation to protect wildlife corridors between populations.

Sonoran Desert, AZ

Habitat: arid desert

Barriers: Interstate 10 is a major movement barrier for cats dispersing north

Solutions: wildlife overpass over the four lane freeway.