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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Yesterday was one of our more exciting and frustrating days on the mountain. At 7:00 we detected a normal signal from one of our radio collared ewes, #21. At 9:00 Michelle Schireman and I began our hike into sweatshirt canyon to collect visual data on some of the bighorns. At 9:15 we received a mortality signal from #21. These radio collars are set to send a mortality signal after the collar has been stationary for 6 hours. In many cases, this mortality signal is the result of a cougar predation event. We immediately returned to the trucks and began preparation for what we anticipated would possibly be a very long hike and a longer day. Above is a view of Sweatshirt Canyon from the top of the Fra Cristobals with our hiking route outlined in red.


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