Increasing reports of human/cougar conflicts may suggest that cougars are increasing in the Pacific Northwest. We determined minimum relative densities and average fecundity, survival, and growth rate of an apparently increasing cougar population in northeastern Washington, USA; northern Idaho, USA; and southern British Columbia, Canada, from 1998 to 2003. Minimum relative densities declined from 1.47 cougars/100 km2 to 0.85 cougars/100 km2. We estimated average litter size at 2.53 kittens, interbirth interval at 18 months, proportion of reproductively successful females at 75%, and age at first parturition at 18 months for a maternity rate of 1.27 kittens/adult female/yr. Average survival rate for all radiocollared cougars was 59%: 77% for adult females, 33% for adult males, 34% for yearlings, and 57% for kittens. Hunting accounted for 92% of mortalities of radiocollared cougars. The annual stochastic growth rate of this population was λ = 0.80 (95% CI = 0.11). Contrary to accepted belief, our findings suggest that cougars in the Pacific Northwest are currently declining. Increased conflicts between cougars and humans in this area could be the result of the 1) very young age structure of the population caused by heavy hunting, 2) increased human intrusion into cougar habitat, 3) low level of social acceptance of cougars in the area, or 4) habituation of cougars to humans. To help preserve this population, we recommend reduced levels of exploitation, particularly for adult females, continuous monitoring, and collaborative efforts of managers from adjacent states and provinces.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.