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, October 31, 2006

Eventually, these three approached to within 10 meters of us as we peered over the top of the rocks and tried to photograph as quitely as possible. These are the same three that were observed yesterday in a canyon a few miles to the south. Then, they were slamming thier massive horns together as they vied for access to a female. All three were observed breeding, usually one breeding the ewe while the other two fought. The two on each end of this lineup bear scars, tears, and sores on thier faces where the skin has been lacerated in these monumental conflicts. The ram in the center actually has large sections of horn broken off the boney core. Note especially the left side horn.


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