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.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Ladder Ranch seems to have a healthy bear population. Bears are known to scavenge cougar kills. It appears that one of LM1's recent meals was taken over by a bear within one day of LM1 catching it. The term for animals stealing food from each other is "kleptoparasitism". When bears steal cougar prey, we might expect the cougars to increase the rate at which they take prey. By this mechanism, bears may have an indirect effect on prey populations.


Post a Comment

<< Home