Jamie L. Cooper

Jamie L. Cooper, M.S.
Sul Ross State University
Major Adivsor: Partrica M. Harveson, Ph.D.

Estimating Mountain Lion and Black Bear Density, Davis Mountains, Texas

The impacts of apex predators on all trophic levels of ecosystems are beginning to be understood as widespread and critically important. Yet, studying these predators can be difficult as they are often few in number, have very large ranges, and are elusive. Mountain lions (Puma concolor) and black bears (Ursus americanus) are two remaining carnivores in the southwest. Researchers at Borderlands Research Institute have been monitoring mountain lions in the Davis Mountains region of Texas for many years. Game trail camera locations were baited with scented disks and catnip oil on the Davis Mountain Preserve and surrounding private ranches to survey for mountain lions and black bears on likely travel corridors. The goal of this research is to evaluate new spatial capture-recapture (SCR) techniques using remote camera and spatial data to estimate the population density of mountain lions and black bears in the Davis Mountains. Statistical analyses will be performed using computer program R package, oSCR. The results will be useful to wildlife biologists and ranch managers in Texas and other areas where density estimates of large carnivores are needed.

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