MOUNTAIN LION DEN SITE ATTENDANCE IN NORTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA
|Matthew P Brinkman; Institute for Wildlife Studies; email@example.com; David K. Garcelon|
Mountain lions (Puma concolor) are relatively well-studied across their range in the United States with a vast amount of information available on home range sizes and variation in diet throughout different habitat types. However, one component of mountain lion life history with a paucity of information is the behavior of female mountain lions during the denning period. We examined spatiotemporal data during the denning period of 7 GPS-collared female mountain lions located in Modoc and Lassen counties in California, beginning with the apparent date of parturition and continuing for 60 days post-partum. Our objectives were to determine whether the amount of time spent away from the den was related to age of the offspring, experience (age) of the mother, relative prey availability, seasonal/temporal factors, or some combination of these variables. We conducted spatial analysis in ArcGIS to measure distances from every location to the den site and determine den attendance rates. We also calculated maximum, minimum, and mean daily distances from the den to use as an index of prey availability. These variables were incorporated into a statistical modeling framework and compared using AIC. Results from this analysis will be included in the presentation.