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 return.
After a quick examination of the camera, F61 inspected her kill. It was an elk, and she had carefully covered it in snow to minimize its chances of detection from competitors.
Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project has just captured incredible, new footage showing how cougars communicate (yes, it's loud!), solicit attention and engage in courtship behavior in the wild. Watch this footage below and learn about the intricacies of cougar courtship from Panthera's Teton Cougar Project Leader, Dr. Mark Elbroch, in this National Geographic Cat Watch blog post.
Today, Panthera is excited to celebrate the first annual World Wildlife Day, designated by the United Nations General Assembly as a day “to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora, and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people.” We ask you to join with us in celebrating the world’s big cats, and other species, by signing up for our big cat email updates.
Panthera’s former Media Director and National Geographic photographer, Steve Winter, won first place in the 2014 World Press Photo Nature Category last week with his striking photo of cougar mother and her cub. Taken with a camera trap, these cougars are part of Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project (TCP) in Wyoming, which was also featured in the December issue of National Geographic.
The December edition of National Geographic Magazine features an interesting article entitled ‘Ghost Cats,’ which highlights the evolution of the cougar and the state of the species today in North America, Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project and individual cougars studied through this project, and photos of wild cougars taken by Panthera’s Media Director and National Geographic photographer, Steve Winter. Among Winter's photos is a stunning image of a cougar set against the backdrop of Los Angeles’ Hollywood sign.
Read ‘Ghost Cats’ on National Geographic’s website.
The leopard is the quintessential cat: stealthy, secretive and adaptable. It is able to exist in virtually all habitats from hyper-arid desert massifs in the Sahara to the dense equatorial forests of central Africa - the only African cat that occurs in both. The leopard eats prey ranging from dung beetles to wildebeest, and survives on domestic dogs near major cities; it can drink water from thermal springs and traverse Kilimanjaro’s snowline. However, all this adaptability comes at a price - the leopard occupies a conservation blind-spot, and is rarely thought of as threatened or needing conservation action. But the species has lost over 35% of its historic range in Africa and far more again throughout Asia.
Our photo of the day is a handsome cougar in Montana taken by Panthera's Media Director, Steve Winter. Did you know that cougars have the largest geographic range of any native terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere? While cougars are adaptable cats, their numbers are declining. Learn how Panthera is working to protect this species through the Teton Cougar Project.
Last week, The New York Times published an interesting article on the recent resurgence of cougar populations in various regions of the country.
Read the article to learn about the rise and fall of 'America's lion' over the centuries and see comments from Panthera’s Teton Cougar Program Director, Dr. Howard Quigley, on cougar conservation and the role of science in ensuring a future for the species below.
A new Jackson Hole News & Guide article entitled ‘Lives of Mountain Lions Unfold in Nighttime Videos’ features the work of Panthera's Teton Cougar Project scientists to uncover the secret lives of cougars living north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Read the article now to learn how Teton Cougar Project Leader, Dr.
Watch Panthera’s newest video from the field showing Teton Cougar Project Leader, Dr. Mark Elbroch, uncovering a cougar kill in South America’s Patagonia region and explaining how Patagonian cougars hide their prey from scavenging Andean condors.
Read a story from Panthera’s March newsletter – Cougars vs. Condors: Competing for Meat in Patagonia – to learn what Dr. Elbroch recently uncovered about the distinctive hunting habits of the Patagonian cougar, and how Andean condors impact this behavior.