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Trends in Populations of Mountain Lion in Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks

Louis A. Harveson, Bill Route, Fred Armstrong, Nova J. Silvy and Michael E. Tewes
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 44, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 490-494
DOI: 10.2307/3672348
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3672348
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Trends in Populations of Mountain Lion in Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks
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Abstract

In the United States, the mountain lion (Puma concolor) is limited to the western states and an isolated population in Florida. Recent reports suggest that numbers of mountain lions in the west are increasing; however, most estimates are based on biased harvest records, mortality reports, or sightings. Our purpose was to assess trends in mountain lion populations in two areas within the Chihuahuan Desert by use of multiple-sign surveys. Transects were monitored in spring and fall 1987 to 1996 in Carlsbad Caverns (CCNP) and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks (GMNP). Amount and type of mountain lion sign in each park differed and was likely related to the dominant substrate. A decreasing trend in mountain lion sign was observed on GMNP from fall 1987 to fall 1991 and an increasing trend in mountain lion sign was observed from Spring 1992 to Spring 1996. No trend was observed on CCNP from fall 1987 to spring 1996. Mortalities on adjacent lands may have reduced numbers of mountain lions at GMNP. Multiple-sign transects may provide a useful tool for monitoring populations of mountain lions in other regions of the Southwest. /// En los Estados Unidos, el puma (Puma concolor) se limita a los estados occidentales de los Estados Unidos y a una población aislada en Florida. Los reportes recientes sugieren que los números del puma están aumentando; sin embargo, la mayoría de los cálculos se basan en registros de recolección imprecisos, reportes de mortalidad, o avistamientos. Nuestro propósito fue tasar los cambios poblacionales del puma en dos regiones dentro del desierto Chihuahuense usando reconocimientos de múltiples rastros del puma. Los transectos se evaluaron en la primavera y en el otoño desde el otoño de 1987 hasta la primavera de 1996 en Parque Nacional Carlsbad Caverns (CCNP) y en Parque Nacional Guadalupe Mountains (GMNP). La cantidad y el tipo de rastro del puma varían en cada parque, probablemente a causa del suelo dominante. Los rastros del puma disminuyeron en GMNP desde el otoño de 1987 hasta el otoño de 1991, y aumentaron desde la primavera de 1992 hasta la primavera de 1996. No hubo un cambio en CCNP del otoño de 1987 hasta la primavera de 1996. Las mortalidades en terrenos contigüos podrían haber reducido los números del puma en GMNP. Es posible que los transectos de múltiples rastros provean un instrumento útil para evaluar las poblaciones del puma en otras regiones del suroeste.

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