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, March 23, 2010

Video slideshow: LM2 revisiting elk kill mentioned in last post. He returns to the kill at 6:00 PM and then again at 9:40 PM, but doesn't appear to feed on it . This may be because he was wary of even the no flash cameras. When he returns at 11:00 PM, he promptly drags the carcass out of the camera's range to feed for the night.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The 4th Annual Cougar Field Workshop was held this past week on the Ladder Ranch. Participants enjoyed beautiful weather, engaging presentations and discussion, and the unique opportunity to get out in the field and learn puma field techniques first hand. While we were unsuccessful at capturing a puma during the past week, participants were able to visit kill sites found using our already GPS collared pumas.

The following photos were taken by a Reconyx remote digital camera, set up on an LM2 cow elk kill. LM2 made the kill on the night of March 5th, we visited the kill on the 6th and set up cameras. The below photos show LM2 revisiting the kill on the night of the 6th, and dragging it just out of range of the cameras.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

LM3 Update: On January 22nd we received what seems to be the last consistent GPS data download from LM3's collar. The above and following photos of LM3, taken since the 22nd of January, confirm that he is alive, but his collar is not working.

LM3's frequent photos indicate he is still regularly moving through the camera grid, and will hopefully be able to be re-collared. Based on the location of the cameras capturing his photo in the past month we have set up a trap line to capture him along one of his many paths of travel. The photo below is from our first trap night with snares, showing LM3 checking a "scent station" only 30 ft. from a nearby snare! Unfortunately he came and went without traveling past our snare in what seemed to be just a slight detour to check and possibly mark at this "scent station". While getting SO close to catching a target animal in the first trap night was VERY frustrating, based on his photos we expect that he will be passing by this spot again soon, giving us a second chance at re-collaring him!