60 Second Science: The Problem with Culling Pumas

By Panthera

Pumas in Chile

A farmer in a rural area realizes one of his sheep has been attacked by a puma — a huge blow to his livelihood. In retaliation, the farmer hunts down the puma. However, instead of solving the problem, it creates new issues for both wild cats and human communities. 

Recognizing the sometimes-harmful effects of retaliatory killings of pumas, Puma Program Director Dr. Mark Elbroch and Dr. Adrian Treves of the University of Wisconsin collaborated to collate extensive research to explore why killing carnivores might sometimes backfire. In a groundbreaking new paper in Biological Conservation, they reveal the top five reasons why retaliating against carnivores can ultimately harm human communities. 

To ensure the continued conservation and protection of wild cats and other carnivores that are so crucial to their ecosystems, it is important that we learn to coexist with pumas and respond to conflicts in a rational, constructive and conservation-focused manner. Watch our 60 Second Science video to discover why retaliatory killings of carnivores can exacerbate the issue and even increase the risks for livestock.