Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Cougars in Cache: Approaching the beast from multiple perspectives

Presenter Information

Margaret HallerudFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2018

College

S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Department

Wildland Resources Department

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Daniel MacNulty

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

The cougar (Puma concolor) is a notoriously difficult study animal due to its elusive behavior, wide-ranging movements, and low density on the landscape. As a result, the majority of information about cougars comes solely from human-caused mortality records, which are both a biased and imprecise measure of the population as a whole. Additionally, harvest rates of cougars have been increased over the past few years despite a lack of concrete information on Utah cougar populations. Therefore, more accurate means of monitoring are necessary to guide state management of the species. By using and comparing multiple methods for cougar monitoring, including trail cameras, tracking, hunting records, extensive literature review, and public sightings, our research group has been able to gather information about cougar activity in the Cache area. Success of such a complex project has hinged on recruiting research partners and volunteers to participate. Our research contributes to the knowledge of the local wildlife populations and highlights the benefits and risks of implementing large-scale research via citizen scientists.

Location

South Atrium

Start Date

4-13-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 2:45 PM

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Apr 13th, 1:30 PM Apr 13th, 2:45 PM

Cougars in Cache: Approaching the beast from multiple perspectives

South Atrium

The cougar (Puma concolor) is a notoriously difficult study animal due to its elusive behavior, wide-ranging movements, and low density on the landscape. As a result, the majority of information about cougars comes solely from human-caused mortality records, which are both a biased and imprecise measure of the population as a whole. Additionally, harvest rates of cougars have been increased over the past few years despite a lack of concrete information on Utah cougar populations. Therefore, more accurate means of monitoring are necessary to guide state management of the species. By using and comparing multiple methods for cougar monitoring, including trail cameras, tracking, hunting records, extensive literature review, and public sightings, our research group has been able to gather information about cougar activity in the Cache area. Success of such a complex project has hinged on recruiting research partners and volunteers to participate. Our research contributes to the knowledge of the local wildlife populations and highlights the benefits and risks of implementing large-scale research via citizen scientists.