Science in Action Blog
A long time ago...we had panthers living on Long Island but not any more. We are going to learn what happened to those panthers. Lets look at an animal food web first. When an animal is eliminated from the food web then anything that eats it gets affected. For example: if bugs die then the spider wont have anything to eat. If the spiders do not have anything to eat then the spiders will die. Birds eat spiders and if spiders die it will affect the birds. Just from taking one animal away from the food web can make a big difference in all the other animals.
Now lets look at what happened to the panthers that lived on Long Island. Panthers live in forests, swamps and grasslands. When humans first settled here they took down trees to build their houses. They were scared of the panthers so they started hunting them. Humans destroyed panthers habitat which affected their food web. The panthers either had to move or be killed. Panthers had to adapt to this change in their habitat. That’s why we don’t see any panthers living on Long Island any more.
A panther is a carnivore. Its diet consists of large mammals including deer and also smaller animals like rabbits and birds. In fact panthers eat anything that moves. If we eliminate panther from food web there will be an ample amount of animals. For example: there are a lot of deer and rabbits here. Deer eat plants and can damage farms. Rabbits eat grass and also eat plants. Rabbits can destroy farms just like deer. There are no panthers to hunt them down.
We can let them live here. We can make a national preserve built for the panthers. There will be a fence around it just so they don’t escape or hurt anybody. That may be the only way if you want the panthers to live here.
In conclusion, if you take an animal out of the food web it will affect the other animals and plants.