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.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Puma Kitten Photos: Before the new year we captured our first photos of puma kittens with our camera grid! The above kitten still has a little blue in its eyes and its spots are fading away, so it is probably around 10 months old.
This may be the same kitten that was captured in the first photo, just a day earlier, but it is difficult to tell because its spots are starting to fade and the flash makes them hard to see. This kitten also seems to look little more healthy than the first one, so it may be a sibling.
In the above photo, there is a kitten kicking its heels up and an adult female who is most likely the mother. Based on this series of photos on the same camera over 3 days we know there is probably a resident, uncollared female with at least one 10 month old kitten in our study area. It will be interesting to see if we are able to detect this family group on the cameras over the next few months.

LM3 has already been photographed by 3 of the new 9 cameras we set out, since they started running in November. This 140 lb. male is featured in the below photos and seems to have been in great shape this winter.
Stay tuned for more photos, thanks to the hard work of Harley Shaw and Kate Thibault, we are about to get in our camera grid photos for the months of December and January, and they will be posted soon!


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