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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10402/era.27472
  • The ecology of a re-established cougar (Puma concolor) population in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan
  • Bacon, Michelle
  • English
  • cougar
    Cypress Hills
    Alberta
    Saskatchewan
    prey selection
    indirect effects
  • Aug 3, 2010 2:34 PM
  • Thesis
  • English
  • Adobe PDF
  • 2566880 bytes
  • Cougars (Puma concolor) have recently begun to reclaim former range and also are expanding into new territory. The Cypress Hills of southeast Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan now hosts the most eastern confirmed breeding population of cougars in Canada. However, with the return of cougars come new issues about human safety and risk of livestock depredation. Using GPS radiocollars, scat analysis, snowtracking and wildlife cameras, I found that the Cypress Hills boasts one of the highest densities of cougars ever reported, yet the large cats avoid human-use areas and have not been documented to prey on livestock. Using aerial ungulate survey data, I also show that the increase in cougar abundance is associated with a shift in distribution of naïve ungulate prey to areas outside the park. Provided that cougars continue to avoid humans and cattle, this island habitat could prove to be an important stepping stone to further expansion eastward.
  • Master's
  • Master of Science
  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Fall 2010
  • Boyce, Mark (Biological Sciences)
  • Cassady St. Clair, Colleen (Biological Sciences)
    Krogman, Naomi (Rural Economy)