Mountain lions (Puma concolor) were captured and radio-collared in the Sierra National Forest between 1983 and 1992 to study the species' seasonal spatial patterns in a location where migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are its primary prey. Some mountain lions displayed seasonal migratory shifts in elevation that mirrored those of their migratory prey; others resided at lower elevations year-round. Home range size for all mountain lions was larger in summer ( = 231 km2) than in winter ( = 110 km2), whether or not an individual exhibited seasonal migratory shifts in elevation. Due to seasonal shifts in home range size and, for part of the mountain lion population, in elevation, minimum density of mountain lions in the study area also differed seasonally (summer, 0.87 per 100 km2; winter, 1.42 per 100 km2). Overall, these findings demonstrate differing space use strategies (migratory vs. resident) within a large carnivore population that have important management implications for large carnivores because these strategies provide context for population monitoring and conflict mitigation efforts.
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