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.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Above is a map of LF1's locations for the last 362 days. The yellow dots show her movements over the last 30 days. She has expanded her home range considerably south in the last few weeks. It's interesting to note that she has basically avoided lower Animas Creek since she had her cubs. It may be that she is avoiding the large males that frequent that area. Based on photo data we know that at least two big toms are often found on lower Animas.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) showed up in one of our more interesting photos last month (see the photo below). The white-nosed coati is listed as a species of "Greatest Conservation Need" by the NMDGF. It is also listed as endangered by the IUCN. In 1976 J.H. Kaufmann wrote that the white-nosed coati was only a rare visitor to the state of New Mexico with one confirmed record just north of Silver City. It is possible that this species is increasing its range in New Mexico. Another possibility is that no one has really looked for them in a rigorous and systematic way.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Eleven photos of uncollared cougars were collected during the same time period that we recorded two photos of LM1 and LF1. There appear to be at least one uncollared male and one uncollared female in these photos.