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Topics Include Natural History and Co-Existence
BOZEMAN, Mont. - Today, WildEarth Guardians and Sierra Club kick-off a series of mountain lion presentations aimed to help Montanans understand the natural history and conservation issues surrounding the area’s majestic cats. The presentation, Mountain Lions in the West: Natural History, Conservation, & Co-Existence, also includes tips for living in mountain lion country.
“Mountain lions contribute to the richness and complexity of Montana’s ecosystems,” said Wendy Keefover-Ring, Carnivore Protection Director at WildEarth Guardians who works from the group’s Bozeman office. “By creating awareness and understanding of these native cats, we can promote common sense precautions to eliminate potential human-lion conflicts.”
Montana’s rugged foothills and mountains provide critical habitat to mountain lions, also commonly called pumas, cougars, or panthers. These large, golden cats, shy and unsocial by nature, prefer living around rugged terrain that is suitable for ambushing prey, such as deer and elk. They require expansive habitats because their food supply is dispersed over long distances and because they are “obligate carnivores,” meaning they only eat meat.
The presentation includes the role Montana’s hunters can play in long-term conservation of mountain lions, by reducing the amount of females killed, since female lions often are taking care of kittens. Kittens are totally dependent upon their mothers for their first nine months, and typically spend between ten and 24 months learning survival skills from their mother.
“We hope that hunters will assist in promoting the long-term survival of mountain lions by targeting males instead of females, who may have kittens,” added Keefover-Ring.
For a complete schedule of the mountain lion presentations, click here.