We are conducting surveys, monitoring, and research on cougars (puma, mountain lion) on the Ladder Ranch in south-central New Mexico. Here, cougars are of particular interest given their effects on state-endangered desert bighorn sheep and other valuable big game. These projects are also resources for training and education, most notably through the Cougar Field Workshop.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

After gathering our gear and data sheets and making the appropriate phone calls, we began our hike. From where the trail forks, in the photo below, we saw a group of 7 ewes and 2 rams on the hill in front of us. We checked the radio receiver and again we heard a loud clear mortality signal coming from the collar of ewe #21. We decided to climb to the top of the hills in the middle of the fork (our trail along their ridge can be seen below) to get a more accurate bearing on the signal. As we crested the top of the first hill we saw three large rams on the hillside in front of us. We immediately crouched low behind a rock out crop to observe these magnificant animals. The three rams can be seen in the photo above, looking much like rock outcrops themselves.


Post a Comment

<< Home