Teton Cougar Project
In 2010, the Conservation Research Center partnered with Panthera and Craighead Beringia South to develop a noninvasive monitoring program for the cougar (Puma concolor) population in the Jackson Hole area. Our work builds on nine years of data from radio-marked cougars in the area. Together with our partners, our research focuses on testing and evaluating a suite of noninvasive monitoring tools that wildlife managers can use to improve cougar population monitoring in the Intermountain West.
Coyote (Canis latrans) populations have expanded significantly in both range and number during the past century, despite control efforts in many areas of North America. This is due to changed predator dynamics, land conversion and coyote adaptability to different habits and food resources. Coyotes are able to succeed in developed areas as well as in undeveloped lands. Understanding the response of animal species to suburban development is an important component of wildlife management in developed areas. We compared the activity patterns and diets of coyotes in suburban/agricultural areas to those in adjacent undeveloped areas in northwest Wyoming. Results of our work indicate that coyotes in suburban areas are more active at night, relative to study animals in undeveloped areas. This difference in activity dynamics reflects a response to environmental stimuli, such as human activity. As wildlife populations are increasingly required to adapt to human presence, successful management practices depend on reliable information about adaptive species such as the coyote. Likewise, the extent and limitations of potential behavioral modifications in wildlife should be understood in order to develop effective conservation strategies in urbanizing landscapes.
- Develop noninvasive survey techniques that can be used to monitor cougar populations
- Promote scientific literacy through direct community engagement in field research
- Enhance understanding of carnivore ecology in suburbanized landscapes
- Document variability in coyote activity patterns throughout Jackson Hole
- Craighead Beringia South
- University of Wyoming
- Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
- Wyoming Game and Fish Department
- National Park Service - Grand Teton National Park
- US Fish and Wildlife Service - National Elk Refuge
Publications and Presentations
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