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1 May 2009 Rates of Survival and Sources of Mortality of Cougars in Hunted Populations in North-central Arizona
Ted McKinney, Thorry W. Smith, Robert B. Waddell
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Abstract

Estimating rates of survival of cougars (Puma concolor) and identifying sources of mortalities potentially enhance management prescriptions. Sport hunting is believed to be the primary cause of mortality in hunted populations of cougars, but little research has evaluated how hunting and other causes of death might influence survival and sources of mortality of these predators in semi-arid ecosystems. We captured and monitored 16 adults (12 males, 4 females) during 2006 and 2007 on two heavily hunted, semi-arid, study areas in north-central Arizona. Rates of survival of adults differed moderately between study areas and years, generally were ≤0.67, and were comparatively low for combined years (≤0.55). One-half of radiocollared adults died during the study, and sport hunting was the primary cause of deaths, followed by intraspecific aggression and collision with vehicles. We hypothesize that sport hunting was the primary factor influencing relatively low rates of survival of cougars on the study areas.

Ted McKinney, Thorry W. Smith, and Robert B. Waddell "Rates of Survival and Sources of Mortality of Cougars in Hunted Populations in North-central Arizona," The Southwestern Naturalist 54(2), 151-155, (1 May 2009). https://doi.org/10.1894/CLG-14.1
Received: 24 January 2008; Accepted: 1 September 2008; Published: 1 May 2009
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