Less invasive monitoring of cougars in Colorado's Front Range

Less invasive monitoring of cougars in Colorados front range.pdf

Dublin Core

Title

Less invasive monitoring of cougars in Colorado's Front Range

Description

From 2014 to 2016, in the Front Range of Colorado, USA, we assessed noninvasive approaches to sampling cougar (Puma concolor) populations in an attempt to provide a new method that would be less field intensive, less expensive, and could be applied over large spatial extents compared with current methods. We assessed the use of predator calls to lure cougars to a site with remote camera traps for detection and also evaluated hair snags at sites to noninvasively identify individual animals. Predator calls effectively attracted cougars to specific sites with an average of 82 unique photographic detections of cougars per survey year (0.03 detections/trap-night). However, obtaining hair samples from these animals was less effective because animals did not always pass through hair snags and ability to uniquely identify individuals by genotype was poor. We evaluated different approaches to estimating cougar density and found mark–resight to be a viable option in our study system. Mark–resight density estimate after correcting for partial use of the sampling area by cougars was 4.1 cougars/100 km2 (95% CI = 2.4, 5.8). Our results indicate that combining methods of noninvasive genetic sampling and auditory calls to monitor cougar populations can provide reliable density estimates over large geographic areas and areas with significant amounts of inaccessible private lands.

Bibliographic Citation

Alldredge, M. W., T. Blecha, and J. H. Lewis. 2019. Less invasive monitoring of cougars in Colorado's Front Range. Wildlife Society Bulletin 43:222–230. https://doi.org/10.1002/wsb.971

Creator

Alldredge, Mathew W.
Blecha, Tasha
Lewis, Jonathan H.

Subject

Abundance
Auditory
Cougar
Mark–resight
Noninvasive
Predator calls
Puma concolor

Extent

9 pages

Date Created

2019-07-05

Type

Text

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Is Part Of

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Collection

Citation

Alldredge, Mathew W., Blecha, Tasha, and Lewis, Jonathan H., “Less invasive monitoring of cougars in Colorado's Front Range,” CPW Digital Collections, accessed November 29, 2022, https://cpw.cvlcollections.org/items/show/104.