Cougar sex south dakota

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Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan. Daniel J. The cougar Puma concolor is the remnant apex predator of South Dakota. Cougars were extirpated from the majority of the Dakotas by the early s, and severely reduced or extirpated from the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming during this same time. Many factors led to the demise of cougars throughout North America, but cougars proved resilient.

A few sporadic sightings were recorded in the Black Hills during the 20th century, with enough verified sightings occurring during the s that the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks began recording sightings and verifying potential cougars. Verified reports continued and research was initiated in to document distribution and abundance of the species in the Black Hills. Early research efforts spawned the research that is included in this dissertation. The cougar population of the Black Hills rebounded to that of a viable breeding cougar population and is unique in that it naturally reestablished and also is semi-isolated from extant cougar populations.

Primary objectives were to: 1 document cougar survival by sex and age class and characterize mortality of an unhunted cougar population, 2 document dispersal movements and assess philopatry of a cougar population semi-isolated from other populations in a mountainous region surrounded by atypical cougar habitat, 3 assess the genetic structure of a semi-isolated cougar population, 4 document morphological attributes of a newly recolonized cougar population, and 5 assess population status and document effects of density dependence as they relate to overall population demographics of the cougar population in the Black Hills.

Cougars were captured and fitted with radio-transmitters to assess these objectives as well as acquiring ancillary data through sightings, reported mortalities, and cooperative efforts from many management agencies across several jurisdictional boundaries. Annual survival of independent adult cougars averaged 0. Subadult males had the lowest survival rate 0.

Kitten survival was 0. We documented 85 mortality events in South Dakota from - Vehicles No subadult males were recruited into the Black Hills cougar population. Movements documented by our study indicate that cougar range expansion and habitat recolonization are occurring.

Cougars in the Black Hills were comparable in size and weight to cougar populations in western North America. Accurate measurements from reliable tracks may be useful for biologists to assess gender; however, age does not correlate as well with track dimensions. Although cougars in the Black Hills showed a marginally ificant genetic bottleneck, they do not appear to have deleterious effects from the event. Cougars in South Dakota had an average expected heterozygosity HE of 0.

Based on our , there is adequate power to discern individual cougars from geographically close Thompson, Daniel J. Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Advanced Search. Privacy Copyright. Author Daniel J. Keywords mountain lions, black hills, south dakota, wyoming, mammal populations. Abstract The cougar Puma concolor is the remnant apex predator of South Dakota. Based on our , there is adequate power to discern individual cougars from geographically close. Mammal populations -- Black Hills S. Description Includes bibliographical references.

All rights reserved. Recommended Citation Thompson, Daniel J. Links Hilton M. Digital Commons.

Cougar sex south dakota

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