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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…

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…

December 7, 2014: Return “Kidnapped” Animals to the Wild, Save the World’s Big Cats and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they climb El Capitan with young children, stop the kidnapping of Brazil’s wildlife, save lions by saving livestock, lift a 35-ton stone with prehistoric technology, work to save the last 3,000 wild tigers, visit some of the last nomadic tribes, bottle feed a baby cheetah, and clean up hazardous waste.

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…

Philanthropists Pledge $80 Million for Wild Cat Conservation

Environmental philanthropists from China, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have together committed U.S. $80 million over ten years to help fund conservation of all 38 species of wild cats.

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…

Killing Sprees of a Mother Lioness

It was one of those eerily beautiful winter mornings in Central Mozambique. Smoke hung thick in the air from the seasonal fires that had begun raging across the land, and Bob Poole and I hopped into his land rover and headed in to Gorongosa National Park towards a signal that had just come in. Helena (a…

January 26, 2014: Riding Rio Roosevelt’s Rapids, Sliding Headfirst at 90 MPH and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson and his guests as they paddle Class V rapids on the River of Doubt, hand cycle the length of the Americas, investigate deaths from common drugs, preserve lions’ disappearing prides, slide headfirst down an icy track at 90 miles per hour, and reconcile the future and the past in the Amazon Rainforest.

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…