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Wild Cats (Cougars)
Transcript of Wild Cats (Cougars)
By Rose Sanchez
July 30, 2009 Prince Albert Daily Herald
March 30, 2009 Wendy Gillis, The StarPhoenix
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 http://easterncougar.org/CougarNews/?cat=17 History of Cougar attacks This is a list of fatal cougar attacks that occurred in North America by decade in chronological order. The cougar is also commonly known as a puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount, or panther. More than two-thirds of the Canadian fatalities occurred on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. At least 20 people in North America were killed by cougars between 1890 and 2011, including six in California Arthur Dangle, 7, male June 19, 1890 Killed by two cougars while playing near his home in Quartz Valley Jimmie Fehlhaber, 13, male December 17, 1924 Attacked and killed in Olema, Washington as he tried to outrun a cougar for about 100 yards Thomas Harris, 26, male July 1976 Killed by a two year old male cougar near Gold River on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. Scott Lancaster, 18, male January 14, 1991 Killed while jogging a familiar route on a hill above Clear Creek High School in Idaho Springs, Colorado Cindy Parolin, 36, female August 19, 1996 Mother killed while defending her 6 year old son on a horse back riding trip in British Columbia Frances Frost, 30, female January 2, 2001 This Canmore, Alberta resident was killed by a cougar while skiing on Cascade Fire Road just north of Banff National Park in Alberta[ Mark Jeffrey Reynolds, 35, male January 8, 2004 Attacked and killed while mountain biking at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in southern Orange County, California Interspecific and intraspecific competition Intraspecific competition occurs when members of the same species compete for the same resources in an ecosystem. For example, two trees growing close together will compete for light above ground, and water and nutrients in the soil Therefore, getting less resources, they will usually perform less well than if they grew by themselves. Although in this situation it may actually be more useful to think in terms of resource availability than competition Intraspecific competition occurs when members of the same species compete for the same resources in an ecosystem. For example, two trees growing close together will compete for light above ground, and water and nutrients in the soil. Therefore, getting less resources, they will usually perform less well than if they grew by themselves. Although in this situation it may actually be more useful to think in terms of resource availability than competition. Interspecific competition may occur when individuals of two separate species share a limiting resource in the same area. If the resource cannot support both populations then lowered fecundity, growth, or survival may result in at least one species. Interspecific competition has the potential to alter populations, communities and the evolution of interacting species. An example among animals could be the case of cheetahs and lions; since both species feed on similar prey,
they are negatively impacted by the presence of the other because they will have less food, however they still persist together Cougars food supply The cougar is a solitary, mostly nocturnal hunter. They seek fellow cougars only during mating season. Only young siblings or a female with her cubs may hunt together. If the prey is small, like a snowshoe hare, a rapid charge and a paw swipe is all that is needed to capture its prey.. if the animal is larger, the cougar usually attacks from the side, reaches out with both forepaws, claws extended, and gets a solid grip of the animals neck and shoulders Deer, moose,elk,beaver,raccoon,rabbit,
porcupine, birds, and various small rodents
are the cougars' main diet The majority of cougars eat very few
domestic animals as long as their wildlife
food supply is sufficient It is estimated that a cougar will consume approximately 50 deer a year. After a kill, the cougar drags its eaten prey into cover and then covers it with sticks, leaves and earth GSM, La La La DONE BY Health Of Cougars Powerful, graceful and supremely adaptable,
the mountain lion - or, cougar, panther, puma,
catamount or painter Shape: similar to short-haired house cat,
with a relatively small head, shortened face,
small and rounded ears, elongated body,
and long neck and tail Typical Length: males,
about eight to as much
as nine feet from the
nose to the tip of its tail,
and females, about six
to seven feet Typical Shoulder Height:
two to two and one-half feet Usual Weight: males, 125 to
160 pounds, and females, 80
to 100 pounds Color: Tawny to rufous to buff to bluish gray along the back
and sides with lighter colored belly, throat and inner legs and
with a black-bracketed nose and a dark-tipped tail Hunting Attributes: powerful legs suited for rapid
acceleration and pouncing and teeth designed for
seizing, slashing and tearing Indicator Species Definition - A species whose presence, absence, or relative well-being in a given environment is a sign of the overall health of its ecosystem. CANMORE, Alta. -- A combination of warm winters and Alberta’s population boom is causing a recent jump in cougar attacks, says a spokesman for the government agency that collects cougar-related data. Tabitha The province’s cougar population has jumped this year because recent warm winters have pushed up the population of deer, elk and moose -- the cougars’ natural prey, said Darcy Whiteside with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. Tabitha Wildlife officials spent Tuesday tracking a hungry and possibly sick cougar that attacked a family dog in Canmore, Alta. While the cougar hasn’t been found, the dog is recovering at a veterinary clinic with severe head injuries after it was attacked and carried away by the cat. Tabitha suburbia and development of human homes spreading into the cougars range will pressure them to hunt in densely populated areas Density Dependent factors In British Columbia, a 12-year-old boy was camping with his family in the interior on Aug. 1, when he was mauled by a big cat. The attack left him with 200 stitches in his head. Tabitha suburbs or the people living in them considered as an identifiable community or class in society A keystone species is not always a predator.
Some predators can control the distribution and population
of large numbers of prey species. A single mountain lion can roam an area of hundreds of kilometers.
The deer, rabbits, and bird species in the ecosystem are at least partly
controlled by the presences of the mountain lion. Their feeding behavior, or were they choose to make their nests and
burrows, are largely a reaction to the mountain lion's activity. Other species in the habitat would also disappear and become extinct.
The keystone species' disappearance could affect other species that reply
on it for survival. The population of deer or rabbits would explode without the presences of a predator The ecosystem cannot support an unlimited number of animals, and the
deer soon complete with each other for food and water resources. Their population usually declines without
a predator such as a mountain lion my thoughts about it is, if the mountain lion has a large population then
that means the deer population is low. It depends on how fast they eat or how fast they escape Jarah Recent frameworks for ecological or biodiversity monitoring consider multiple levels of organization such as regional landscape; community-ecosystem; population-species; and, genetic, and compositional, structural, and functional aspects. They also include selection criteria for different categories of indicator species that consider vulnerable, keystone, and umbrella species as well as ecological indicator species For biodiversity or ecosystem management, each focus-species group should be considered in selecting the most suitable species for detailed monitoring and assessment; a species that falls into several groups would warrant extra attention. Resolving the problem of
cougars entering urban areas Diet cougars eat large mammals, including deer/white tailed deer, mule deer, moose, elk, eastern cotton tail, badger. TT cougars also eat smaller mammals if here are no bigger mammals around. smaller mammals include mice, squirrels, porupines, raccoons, and skunk. TT depending on their location their diet also consists of big horn sheep, pronghorn antelope, rodents.
and also they will eat livestock such as cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses :(. TT ranges cougars are found from Canada tp Argentina. also could be found from British California, to south Alberta, to California and Texas. small populations could be found east of the Mississippi River. TT Counting populations Counting every animal in a large area would be extremely difficult, time consuming and expensive, The techniques have been developed which allow researchers to survey a smaller area and then use the results to provide an estimate for the number of animals in the entire study area. A number of grid squares are chosen at random and these squares are surveyed with the numbers of plants or animals of the species being counted that are spotted within the squares being recorded. These results can then be used to estimate a total figure for the entire study area. Example; If 5 squares were chosen at random then these grid squares would be surveyed to count the number of acacia trees in each square. If the survey found a total of 20 trees spread across the 5 squares surveyed then this gives an average of 4 trees per grid square. Multiplying this by the number of squares gives an estimate of 400 acacias in the study area. habitat they are solitary animals, males have home ranges that may cover 100 square miles. the males range gennerally overlaps the smaller ranges of several females. each cat normally honors the bonderies. TT carrying capacity the carrying compacity of a biological species in a environment is maximum population size.
giving the food, water, or other necessities available in environment.
carrying capacity is difined as the environment's maximal load, TT This technique allows an estimated population figure to be obtained without the time and expense of surveying the entire study are, but is less effective with animals than with plants or trees as animals move in and out of survey squares and thus distort the results. This technique uses the same principles as Quadrat sampling but instead of dividing the area up into squares to survey it uses long narrow strips. The person doing the survey travels along the centre of the strip and counts the number of animals of the relevant species on either side, within the width of the strip. Any animals outside the strip are ignored and not recorded. In some cases the animals being surveyed may be difficult to spot - for instance if they are secretive in their habits or are nocturnal. In this situation alternative methods of counting can be used. In the case of apes, a researcher might choose to count the number of their nests. Another option for a number of species is to count dung. For this to be effective it is necessary to first have information about the frequency that the animal deposits fresh dung, to know how long the dung will still be visible in the particular environmental conditions of the study site, and to be able to distinguish between the dung of the target species and that of other species found in the area. By using this data and a count of the amount of dung found in the survey, then an estimated figure for the number of animals of that species in the study area can be obtained. As with strip transect sampling, the observer travels along a line. Whereas in strip transect sampling the observer only records sightings within the width of the strip, in line transect sampling, all sightings are recorded along with the perpendicular distance from the survey line to where the animal was sighted. By using mathematical equations and statistical analysis, the population density and overall population count for the area can be obtained. Aerial surveys Aerial surveys require the aircraft to have certain special modifications. Standard aircraft instruments measure the aircrafts height above sea level, but for aerial surveys (particularly strip transect surveys) it is important to keep the aircraft at a fixed height above the ground rather than above sea level. A radar altimeter accurately measures the exact height above the ground when flying at low level, which allows the pilot to maintain a constant height above the ground. Normal doors and windows in a light aircraft tend to have very limited visibility when looking down and to the sides of the aircraft. To make survey work more practical, special observer doors and windows can be installed to improve visibility. For strip transect surveys, the observer needs to be able to know which animals are inside or outside the strip being surveyed. Struts can be attached to the aircraft which means the observer can easily identify the upper and lower limits of the strip for the survey. The image below shows two struts attached to a maule aircraft for survey work, and a group of animals is just visible between the two struts. When an strip transect sampling aerial survey is planned, the width of the strip has to be decided and this is done in conjunction with the positioning of the marker struts and the aircraft height - the higher the aircraft flies, the wider the strip that is visible, but equally flying higher makes it harder to identify animals, so a balance has to be found Estimating populations To establish and to appraise management practices, wildlife managers must estimate the sizes of wildlife populations. For game species, such inventories are ideally taken 3 times a year: during the breeding season, after the young are born or hatched and before the start of the hunting or trapping season, and after the hunting or trapping season. In practice, population estimates are usually done only once a year, at best, because of manpower and funding shortages.
Wildlife managers use 4 general approaches to estimate population sizes of wildlife: total counts, incomplete counts, indirect counts, and mark-recapture methods. We shall examine each of these methods and detail some of their advantages and disadvantages. A complete count, or total count, counts every member of a population. Where populations of large species occur in open areas, such as waterfowl on lakes, seals on breeding beaches, or pronghorns on shortgrass prairie, aerial counts of most individuals are possible, especially with the aid of photography. Sometimes, wildlife managers can count deer in enclosed populations using a drive approach: a large group of people crosses the enclosure in a line, counting all deer that pass in each direction. Distances between the members of the drive crew are critical for success because all deer must be counted, even those hiding. Nonetheless, wildlife managers seldom use this approach because lack of funds or personnel usually make censussing an entire population impractical or impossible and, in addition, such an undertaking disturbs, and can even destroy, the population or its habitat. Even when used, this approach is usually expensive. An incomplete count involves counting part of a population and then extrapolating to the entire population. Quadrats may be established in a sample area and an attempt made to count all the individuals in each quadrat. A "deer drive" census, using large sized quadrats, can be an effective way to estimate deer populations on wooded areas. Stationary observers stand along 3 sides of a quadrat and count all deer leaving and entering the area in front of a drive crew walking across the quadrat from the 4th side. The total number of animals is then calculated as the sum of the animals leaving the area ahead of the drive crews plus the animals passing back through the drive line minus the animals entering the quadrat through one of the sides or through the drive line. As with complete counts, distances between observers and between members of the drive crew are critical for success. population area which is defined as density. Lloyd (1967) noted that the number of animals per unit area is a poor measure of density. Read that last sentence again. On first reading that sounds either downright stupid or at least confusing. But what makes the difference is from whose point of view the population is observed: yours or that of the wildlife. If you want to know how many deer are in such-and-such county so that the number harvested can be compared to the number in the population before harvest, then number of animals per unit area is what you need to know. But if you are interested in what the deer herd will do if you institute a management practice designed to increase the population, you need to know more than number of deer per unit area. start Disclosure 1-5 1) Natural behaviors a)Cougars are solitary cats meaning that they do not spend their life in packs like wolves do. b)the only cats you'll see together are the mothers with their young. The young stays with their mother for year until they are almost full size. Populations are sometimes low depending on the density of prey and other resources in the area Cougars are masters of camouflage and unlike the canids who rely on speed to over take their prey 2)Territory size and boundaries Intraspecific completion grasshoppers provide an animal example by eating grass individual grasshoppers deprive their fellow conspecifics of food cougars might compete for habitat, food, and mates. TT Intraspecific completion ex two trees of the same species growing closer together will complete for light, water, and nutrients in the soil. TT Intraspecific completion is as a particular form of competition in which members from the same species vie for the same resources in an ecosystem (example food, light, nutrients, and space) TT a) Home ranges of males can be as large as 1000 square kilometers, females' ranges are usually much smaller. Home ranges of both sexes will vary greatly with the availability of prey. Population densities of 1 per 35 square km have been recorded in good habitat. There will be some overlap of territories between males and females. 3)Food supply and populations density a)Cougars hunt mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose calves, and in the west, bighorn sheep. As a predators, eating a wide range of available species, they also prey on birds, beaver, snowshoe hare, ground squirrel , and coyote. b)The diet of males and females can be very different. In the Sheep River area of Southwestern Alberta, moose calves are bout 85 percent of winter prey of males, whereas deer and elk represent 79 percent of the diet of females. c)Cougars kill during territorial battles with other cougars may be eaten by the successful animals. They rely on sight and hearing far more than smelling for hunting. they stalk their prey to within two or three great leaps and then launch a lightning-fast charge, striking their prey. d)Victims are most often killed by suffocation with a prolonged bite across the throat, collapsing the windpipe. The prey`s neck may also be broken with a single bite. e)Large prey, such as moose calves and elk, are usually suffocated, whereas small prey, such as mule deer fawns, are more likely to die from broken neck. A cougar will cover its kill with debris between feedings so as reduce the likelihood of scavengers locating and feeding on it. a)Cougar population densities are related to prey population. Deer, moose and elk numbers (the cougar’s most common prey) are experiencing all time highs and their health is reflected by the population densities of the associated predators. The population density of cougars is always fairly low, as is tends to be for all large predators. Cougars are solitary animals and strongly territorial, with home ranges of 30 to 100's of square km.