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Mark Elbroch

of Panthera

Mark Elbroch has contributed to puma research in Idaho, Colorado, California, Wyoming, and Chile, and lots of other carnivores along the way. He earned his PhD at the University of California, Davis, where his dissertation research focused on puma ecology in Patagonia in the presence of endangered humeul deer. He has authored/coauthored 10 books on natural history (http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Elbroch/e/B001ILHI96) and numerous scientific articles published in peer-review journals. Mark is currently a Project Leader for Panthera, a US-based non-profit that conducts science to promote wild cat conservation worldwide.

Mountain Lions Versus Black Bears

F96, nicknamed Frostbite because of the loss of parts of her ears and the tip of her tail during the winter of 2012-13, is a young female mountain lion followed as part of Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project. She dispersed from her mother’s home range in May of this year, when she was 20 months old.…

Fumbling Cougar Kittens: Learning to Hunt

We recently captured F99, a now 1-year old, orphaned, female cougar kitten followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project (see post Why Adult Cougars Kill Each Other? for how she was orphaned and Orphaned Cougar Kittens and Their Inspiring Will to Survive for some of her adventures since). We swapped out the tiny, expandable collar that…

Orphaned Cougar Kittens and Their Inspiring Will to Survive—An Update

It was May 1, 2014, and we had spent a frustrating five hours climbing mountains, crossing rivers, and straddling log jams in pursuit of F51’s orphaned cougar kittens. We never glimpsed them, but their movements clearly relayed that they were alive and mobile. It had been 31 days since their mother had died, during which…

Why Do Adult Cougars Kill Each Other?

F51, an adult female mountain lion currently tracked by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, meandered towards the eastern edge of her range, her two female offspring bouncing like electrons in orbit around her. Who can say what a mountain lion thinks, but from our perspective, life seemed good for F51. The family had fed off a…

Frozen Food: Winter Woes for Cougars

It was dark, and cold. Under cover of night, F61, an adult female mountain lion currently followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, padded softly back to her kill. Drew Rush, on assignment for National Geographic’s article “Ghost Cats” had visited while she was away, and set up a motion-triggered camera to photograph her upon her…

Rare Video Footage Shows the Dynamics of Cougar Courtship

How cougars find each other in a vast landscape of mountains, raging water, thick forests, and rocky bluffs is one of life’s great mysteries for those of us who study mountain lions. I’ve spent many long hours contemplating this subject, and here’s what I’ve decided: it might be easier than we think. I’m speculating here,…

Fecundity and Cougar Kittens

F51, an adult female mountain lion currently followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, has given birth to three litters in three years, which as far as we know, is something of an anomaly. F51 immigrated into our study area from some unknown place and we started tracking her at the very start of 2011, just…

Elk, It’s What’s for Dinner… In Winter

It’s akin to a light switch; it’s that stark. One day mountain lions inhabiting the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem are predominantly killing mule deer, and the next day they all switch to killing elk. And then they kill elk for five to five and a half months before they switch back to deer. It happens on…

Hunters or Hunted? Wolves vs. Mountain Lions

Wolves are coursing, social predators that operate in packs to select disadvantaged prey in open areas where they can test their prey’s condition. Mountain lions are solitary, ambush predators that select prey opportunistically (i.e., of any health) in areas where slopes, trees, boulders, or other cover gives them an advantage. Thus, wolves and cougars inhabit…

Understanding America’s Big Cat: An Introduction to the Teton Cougar Project

Mountain lion, cougar, puma, panther, catamount, léon, Puma concolor. These are among the many names used to describe this large, lithe, solitary felid that ranges from southernmost Alaska to the tip of Tierra del Fuego. Concolor means “single color” and is meant to describe the uniform pelage of adult animals. However, those of us who…