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 03, 2006

Here are a few maps to put recent events into perspective. The bottom map shows the location of the remote camera that took the photos of the cougar (see new header and previous posts) as well as the location of the recently discovered tracks (again see previous posts). The top map shows the location of bighorns observed from July 1 to September 30. The take home message here is that this cougar is in the heart of bighorn territory. This is not to say that the cougar will definitely kill a bighorn by any means; however, we are listening for a mortality signal from our bighorn radio collars with heightened anticipation these days. Speaking of the propensity of cougar to take bighorn, Sarah Galloway, a Furman senior, recently analyzed the data from a male cougar fitted with a GPS collar from the Fra Cristobal mountain range. The cougar hunted in the heart of bighorn country for about 180 days before killing a bighorn ewe. This male cougar fed mostly on mule deer.


Post a Comment

<< Home