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.

Friday, October 10, 2008

We captured LM1 on camera twice (we think) in this latest survey period. The difference in his appearance between the two photos strains credibility. Contrast the thin, hunched cougar in the bottom photo with the sleek, well feed cougar in the top photo. We know that the cougar in the bottom photo is a male (The scrotum can be seen beneath the tail.) and also wearing a GPS collar of the same make and model as the collars we use. Also there is only one other GPS collared cougar in our study area (that we know of) and that is LF1 who was 5 to 10 Km from this camera site on the day the photo was taken. Even accounting for the differences in lighting, distance from the camera, and the three weeks that passed between the two photos, the dramatic difference almost has us wondering if another collared cougar has wandered onto our site.


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