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 15, 2008

Last weekend we completed our investigation of all potential cache sites. Above is a map representing all prey items that we have located so far for both LM1 and LF1. There is a clear difference in the distribution of elk and deer cache sites. This results primarily from the different home ranges of LM1 and LF1. At least so far, LM1 is taking more elk whereas LF1 is taking more deer. Both cougars are averaging one large prey item every 11 days. If this rate continues each will take about 33 large prey items per year. *The southeastern most javelina cache site was made by LF2. The predation event was witnessed by one of the Ladder Ranch employees and investigated by Orvel Fletcher and Megan Pitman.


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