Date of Award:

5-1982

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Fredrick G. Lindzey

Abstract

Movements of 22 cougars (Felis concolor) were monitored by radio-telemetry between January 1979 and July 1981 in southern Utah. The population, composed of resident, transient, and juvenile cougars, remained relatively constant in size for 3 years. Densities (0.4-0.5 cougars/100 km2) were considerably lower than has been reported elsewhere. Average annual home area size of resident females (685 km2) and a single resident male (826 km2) were substantially larger than other home area sizes reported. Home areas of resident females overlapped and resident male home areas may have overlapped as well. Despite the degree of overlap observed, with the exception of family groups, close spatial associations were rare. Dispersal of cubs appeared to be independent of adult resident density. Density of resident cougars appears to be regulated by a social pattern based on land tenure but limited by abundance of mule deer, their principal prey on this study area. The relative vulnerability to hunting of different cougar cohorts is discussed.

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