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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

LM3 Recaptured! - On June 20th Team Puma recaptured the prodigal LM3 and was able to exchange his non-functioning GPS collar for a brand new Northstar GPS collar, courtesy of Mike Abernathy and Carolyn Galceran donated to the project in memory of Owen and Milda Abernathy. The above photo features all of this years Ladder Ranch Team Puma Recruits, from the left: Furman sophomore MC Coppage, freshman Alex Viere, professor Dr. Travis Perry (also Furman alumnus), alumnus Megan Pitman (getting her masters from Clemson on this project), and sophomore Michael Jiang.

The above photo shows LM3 once he has been darted by Megan Pitman with a CO2 powered tranquilization "gun". About 3 minutes after being darted he surrendered to the effects of the the tranquilization drugs and appears to be asleep.

LM3's peleage showed evidence of recent fighting, most likely an encounter with another male puma in the area. Other than these scars, he appeared in fine condition, weighing in at 138 lbs., and handled the capture procedure very well. Based on his GPS movements, he was most likely on a kill only 2 nights after being captured!

Furman undergraduates had the opportunity to help collect valuable measurement data on LM3. The data collection process ran very smoothly, although rapidly, as once the animal is tractable under tranquilization we have only about 30-45 minutes to take the necessary measurements, photos, and fit the GPS collar.

LM3's canine's measured in at 30 mm for the upper and 24 mm for the lower. Detailed photos were also taken of his teeth for the purpose of aging him based on the wear and discoloration of the teeth.

After all of the data was collected and his new GPS collar was fitted, LM3 was monitored closely to ensure his health and safety while coming out of the tranquilization.


2 Comments:

Blogger Jonna Peterson said...

Just saw your June 30 post ...
Bravo Team Puma!!

5:17 PM

 
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Congratulations!!! How I wish I could have been there.

I hope to see you all again at another puma ecotour soon!!!!

Elizabeth Parker
Santa Fe, NM

9:41 PM

 

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