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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.

Short Film: The Secret Life of Mountain Lions

The “Secret Life of Mountain Lions” provides an intimate glimpse into the family lives of mountain lions. This true story follows F61, an adult female mountain lion, and one litter of kittens. Mountain lions have long been considered anti-social creatures, but this remarkable short film reveals a family that is playful, affectionate and interdependent, even…

A Win For Wyoming People and Mountain Lions

I’m thrilled to share that Wyoming legislature voted yesterday in favor of science and to protect the balance of nature on which our state so deeply depends. HB0012, which would have allowed the trapping of mountain lions in Wyoming, failed to pass the House on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm. Thank you to…

Wyoming’s Proposed Mountain Lion Trapping Bill Contradicts Science

This January, a bill called HB0012 was introduced in the Wyoming legislature that, if passed, would allow any person with a valid hunting license to kill a mountain lion using a trap or snare. This bill is not based on valid science, and the negative consequences for mountain lions, other wildlife, Wyoming citizens, and the…

NatGeo Wild’s Big Cat Week: Cougars Undercover

Its Big Cat Week on NatGeo Wild, and one of the headliner films is Cougars Undercover, a dramatic film following the lives of two mountain lion families in northwest Wyoming. The stars of the film are F51 and F61, adult female mountain lions studied by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, an ongoing work addressing diverse ecological…

Overlapping Mountain Lions

F61 and F51, adult female mountain lions (Puma concolor), also called cougars, followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project were both four years old when they gave birth to their first litters of kittens within a month of each other in 2011. The pair of big cats were neighbors in adjacent and overlapping home ranges in…

Mountain Lion Dispersal

M80 and F96, young mountain lions followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, dispersed from their mother’s home range in northwest Wyoming, about April 1st, 2014, when the pair were 19 months old. In northern climates, there is a Spring pulse of young mountain lions setting out to find territories of their own. M80 moved north…

A Fortress For Cougar Kittens

We suspected F47, an adult female mountain lion followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, was pregnant in Spring of 2013; during the winter, we had caught her on camera consorting with M85, the resident male that overlapped her territory (see Rare Video Footage Shows the Dynamics of Cougar Courtship). In late Spring, F47 began to…

Mountain Lions Versus Porcupines

What did F99, a subadult female mountain lion followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, think when she encountered a North American porcupine in early November? A small, female mountain lion in the Northern Rocky Mountains might weigh 80 lbs, while a large porcupine might weigh 20. Certainly, the two species aren’t matched for a fair…

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…