Cameras Reveal the Secret Lives of a Mountain Lion Family – Sharon Negri (2013)

Mountain lions were once thought to be solitary animals. They are feared and hunted by humans. New footage captured by motion-triggered cameras in secluded areas deep in the Wyoming Wind River range shows a mountain lion family and the animals’ previously unknown social bonds. In this short documentary produced by WildFutures, we also learn about how hard it can be to be a mountain lion. They face an increasing loss of habitat, harsh winters, trophy hunters and even predators. Like many other big cats a puma has to be stealth operating among many other predators. Here in this documentary, one cub is lost to an attack by a pack of wolves and another to trophy hunting.

Connections between apex predators and biodiversity is becoming more clear as observations accumulate. Predators not only put a dent on herbivore numbers, but also reduce their feeding efficiency. Sheer presence of a predator induces fear and make the herbivores more vigilant. “Ecology of the fear” is a defining term for the rippling effects of the presence of predators in a habitat.

The Secret Life of Mountain Lions provides a rare glimpse into the family and social bonds of mountain lions. It affirms their rightful place in nature and the importance of protecting them for generations to come. Narrated by Chris Morgan (PBS, BBC, National Geographic), this video contains extraordinary footage captured through Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project. Panthera has been following big cats of central and south America. The team has been extremely successful in understanding demographics through detection of very young individuals such as this female jaguar and her cubs in Belize.

Webinar with Mark Elbroch, Panthera Puma Program from Secret Life of Mountain Lions on Vimeo.

 

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