Adopting a stray cat is one thing, but finding a mountain lion on your porch is a whole new dimension. This person doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave either! The householder had to knock on the glass door a few times before this particular big cat decided to move.
mountain lion in the wild
Native to central, northern and southern America, cougars prefer forest and mountain habitats, but will also live in wetlands and deserts. They are tan-colored big cats also known as pumas, cougars, pumas, and panthers.Their prey includes coyotes, porcupines, raccoons, mule deer and rabbit. Cougars are fast runners, can change direction quickly, and can even jump up trees as high as 20 feet!
Cougars typically travel long distances around their territory (usually about 30 square miles) in search of water, food, shelter and a mate. But the existence of human activities has brought them the risk of accidental injury and hunting. In some areas, it is possible to obtain a permit that allows you to kill a cougar.
Studying Mountain Lions in Urban Areas
There seem to be more and more videos of mountain lions circulating in cities and suburbs. Traditionally, however, the species has been described as a shy animal that avoids contact with humans. They prefer to live a solitary lifestyle in their own territory. Studies have been conducted on the impact of human development on mountain lion populations around Los Angeles, California. Half of the natural landscape in the area is perfect habitat for mountain lions, but is now being encroached upon by home construction, highways, commercial development and recreational uses including hiking trails.
The study found that female cougars were more common than male cougars near urban environments. This is thought to be because there was more prey there, as it was attracted to the improved vegetation. It also allows them to avoid competition with men in more rural areas. For these animals, there is a trade-off between the risk of approaching humans and the food available in urban areas. It also means that sightings like the one documented in this video could become more common.
Watch a Mountain Lion Relentlessly Track a Terrified Hunter
Watch a pack of dogs horn a giant mountain lion
Man bravely attacks mountain lion to save his dog (graphics!)
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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