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, June 23, 2009

EXCITING NEWS: LF1's cubs are alive and well. We had reason to believe that LF1 gave birth to cubs on the 7th of August, 2008. In October of 2008, Megan Pitman and I saw two cubs with LF1 in a rock outcrop. In November, 2008 when LF1 was recollared there was some risk that she would abandon these cubs. We have been anxious to confirm whether or not the cubs were still with her since that time.

In Megan's latest round of camera checking she downloaded a photo of LF1 with a robust, male puma. This male is large enough to be a mate to LF1 and not an offspring.
On the 19th of June, 2009 Megan discovered one of LF1's kills that was only made in the early morning hours of the same day. Megan set up a remote camera on the kill to determine whether or not LF1 was indeed still traveling with cubs and sharing kills with them. The photos below confirm that LF1 is probably traveling with healthy cubs - large ones.

LF1 above. She is a little smaller than average adult female, weighing only 65lbs.

Cub one. This cub is larger than LF1 herself, but noticeably smaller than the other cub (below) which is almost certainly a male.

Cub two. This is likely a male cub, but may not be the same male photographed with LF1 on 12 June.


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