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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.

Myth Busting for Mountain Lions

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been told that mountain lions target male mule deer (“bucks”) and, to a lesser extent, male elk (“bulls”). I remember one exchange in which a ranch hand in Colorado told me that if I walked out into the nearby sagebrush, I’d stumble upon buck carcasses just about…

Neighborhood Watch: The Role of Male Mountain Lions in Structuring Social Behaviors

Editor’s Note: This is the second blog in a pair of blogs about a paper recently published in Science Advances showcasing collaborative research with Drs. Mark Lubell and Michael Levy of UC Davis, and Dr. Anthony Caragiulo of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. The paper provided the…

Giving To Get: Reciprocity Among Mountain Lions

Please Note: This is the first of two blogs about a research paper published today in Science Advances providing the first evidence of complex social strategies in any solitary carnivore—and showing that mountain lions in particular are more social than previously thought. Part Two will chronicle how territorial males structure social interactions among mountain lions.…

Do Mountain Lions Rival McDonald’s?

Stinky dead meat. Oddly, I’ve come to love the stench of it, even though it sometimes turns my stomach. It’s become a badge of honor and a symbol of what I do, hiking long days in search of prey killed by mountain lions. Sometimes the stink helps me locate the carcass, or the sounds of…

Marching For (Cat) Science

I grew up catching animals of all sorts. I kept buckets full of jumping spiders, turtles and snakes. At five-years-old, under the careful instruction of my grandfather, I miraculously caught a rabbit in a flimsy butterfly net attached to the end of a bamboo shoot. After parading it proudly about the house, I released it…

Of Mountain Lions And Dangerous Prey

I found the fresh footprints of a subadult male mountain lion not one mile from the typically bustling headquarters of the High Lonesome Ranch in western Colorado, USA. But it was early and the ranch had yet to wake. I sat on the track in the pitch black, awaiting sunrise and the arrival of local…

The Passing of a Titan

Contrary to popular belief, mountain lions are not all the same. They are as distinctive in personality as we are. Some are bold, others stick to the shadows. Some are social, others avoid interactions. Some hunt elk, some prefer smaller fare. Some are productive, successful mothers that rear numerous kittens to young adults, and others…

Solitary Is Not Asocial: Social Interactions Among Mountain Lions

On May 5, 2012, the way I—and many other scientists—understood mountain lions changed forever. A few days earlier, data collected from F57, an adult female mountain lion we’d captured as part of Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project just the month before, revealed that she’d been in the same place for two full days, behavior typically indicative…

Why Research Matters to Mountain Lions in Wyoming

Mountain lions live like shadows around us, and most people have never seen one. Most never will. Yet on July 8, the Wyoming Game Commission granted these wraiths of forests and mountains a reprieve in several parts of the state, including Unit 2 in the northwest where Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project (TCP) operates. Unit 2…

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…