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, June 04, 2011

Team Puma 2011 is back on the Ladder Ranch and has hit the ground running! On May 31st we checked all 25 grid cameras by running 2 separate camera teams. As always we captured some interesting stuff, below are some of the most interesting photos from this latest camera check:

A bobcat (Lynx rufus) checks out the camera. Our subjects rarely smile or even look at the cameras for their photos, so this is a rare capture of this bobcat almost saying "cheese".

This male black bear (Ursus americanus) took a break in front of one of our cameras to scratch his back.

Our first photo capturing puma predation shows LF8 with a skunk. The kills we've checked out for her over the winter and spring indicate that she might be specializing on skunks. She has certainly killed more skunks than we have found with our other pumas.

Since first detecting him in December of last year, LM1 has remained a nearly constant present in our camera array. We've been able to pick out his red ear tag in most of his photos and hope to recapture him sometime this summer or fall and fit him with another GPS collar.

This photo is probably capturing a mating event between LM3 and an unknown female. In the photo we can see LM3's ear tag, but cannot make out an ear tag on the accompanying female in the background (look close!). It is possible that she could be LF6 or her daughter LF7, both of whom have ear tags, but no GPS collar at this point. Again, we hope to recapture LM3 and replace his malfunctioning GPS collar, and we are also hoping to recapture LF6 and/or LF7 to fit them with GPS collars.



Blogger Mary Catherine said...

Yeah, get it LM3, that's my man! All this talk of collaring and re-collaring makes me jealous. Was LF7 the kitten we caught last year? She's all grown up!

3:09 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

what happened you guys lose your funding?

7:49 PM

Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Howdy Brett. Nope, although funding is mighty low, we have gotten VERY busy on three other puma projects. I would like to see the blogging more regular and informative. If you feel the same, please send an e-mail to my graduate student, Megan, who is in charge of keeping the blog up-to-date: Megan.Pitman@gmail.com

8:00 PM


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