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.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Six days of camping, 38.5 miles of walking, 9,000ft of climbing, and 15 minutes of watching cougar cubs! That's what Megan Pitman and I did from 20 to 25 October.

The week of 18 to 26 October, while Orvel and Debbie Fletcher, Steve Dobrott, and Harley Shaw made their own heroic attempts to recapture and recollar LM1 using hounds, Megan Pitman and I hiked into what has become the back-country of Animas Creek since flooding this summer destroyed the roads, in an attempt to recollar LF1. Although a series of unlucky events prevented us from recollaring LF1 (more on that in a bit) we did manage to confirm that LF1 had a litter of cubs on or about the 7th of August. As a result our data on her movement and kills are much more valuable.

Below I have posted maps of our daily hikes, including the elevation profiles. The elevation profiles still astound me.

Day 1, the 20th.

Day 2, the 21st.

Day 3, the 22nd.

Day 4, the 23rd. That was a long one. We had to return to the car for food and to make contact with the ranch headquarters. Then we had to return to camp and search for LF1's most recent kill before dark. A healthy walk of some 14 miles.

Day 5, Friday the 24th.

Day 6, Saturday the 25th.


Post a Comment

<< Home