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Cougar: Ecology & Conservation

By: Maurice Hornocker (Editor), Sharon Negri (Editor), Alan Rabinowitz (Foreword By)

306 pages, 36 colour plates, 70 b/w photos, 19 b/w illustrations, 25 tables

University of Chicago Press

Hardback | Jan 2010 | #180709 | ISBN-13: 9780226353449
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £32.50 $40/€36 approx

About this book

The cougar is one of the most beautiful, enigmatic, and majestic animals in the Americas. Eliciting reverence for its grace and independent nature, it also triggers fear when it comes into contact with people, pets, and livestock or competes for hunters' game. Mystery, myth, and misunderstanding surround this remarkable creature. The cougar's range once extended from northern Canada to the tip of South America, and from the Pacific to the Atlantic, making it the most widespread animal in the Western Hemisphere. But overhunting and loss of habitat vastly reduced cougar numbers by the early twentieth century across much of its historical range, and today the cougar faces numerous threats as burgeoning human development encroaches on its remaining habitat.

When Maurice Hornocker began the first long-term study of cougars in the Idaho wilderness in 1964, little was known about this large cat. Its secretive nature and rarity in the landscape made it difficult to study. But his groundbreaking fieldwork yielded major insights and was the prelude to further research on this controversial species. The capstone to Hornocker's long career studying big cats, Cougar: Ecology & Conservation is a powerful and practical resource for scientists, conservationists, and anyone with an interest in large carnivores. He and conservationist Sharon Negri bring together the diverse perspectives of eighteen distinguished scientists to provide the fullest account of the cougar's ecology, behavior, and genetics, its role as a top predator, and its conservation needs.

This compilation of recent findings, stunning photographs, and firsthand accounts of field research unravels the mysteries of this magnificent animal and emphasizes its importance in healthy ecosystem processes and in our lives.

"Cougar is a mighty compendium by sixteen cougar authorities who share considerable firsthand experience in the field. A very important contribution, this book will surely take its place as the definitive work on this fascinating, beautiful, and ever elusive animal."
- Peter Matthiessen


Range Map

Alan Rabinowitz

Maurice Hornocker and Sharon Negri


Part I. Research and Management Come of Age

The Bitterroot Tom
Maurice Hornocker

1 To Save a Mountain Lion: Evolving Philosophy of Nature and Cougars
R. Bruce Gill

2 The Emerging Cougar Chronicle
Harley Shaw

3 Lessons and Insights from Evolution, Taxonomy, and Conservation Genetics
Melanie Culver

4 Cougar Management in North America
United States: Charles R. Anderson Jr. and Frederick Lindzey
Canada: Kyle H. Knopff, Martin G. Jalkotzy, and Mark S. Boyce

Part II. Populations
Tracking for a Living
Kerry Murphy

5 Cougar Population Dynamics
Howard Quigley and Maurice Hornocker

6 What We Know about Pumas in Latin America
John W. Laundré and Lucina Hernández

7 The World’s Southernmost Pumas in Patagonia and the Southern Andes
Susan Walker and Andrés Novaro

Part III. Cougars and Their Prey
Notes from the Field
Linda L. Sweanor

8 Behavior and Social Organization of a Solitary Carnivore
Kenneth A. Logan and Linda L. Sweanor

9 Diet and Prey Selection of a Perfect Predator
Kerry Murphy and Toni K. Ruth

10 Cougar-Prey Relationships
Toni K. Ruth and Kerry Murphy

11 Competition with Other Carnivores for Prey
Toni K. Ruth and Kerry Murphy

Part IV. Conservation and Coexisting with People
Death of a Towncat
Harley Shaw

12 A Focal Species for Conservation Planning
Paul Beier

13 Cougar-Human Interactions
Linda L. Sweanor and Kenneth A. Logan

14 People, Politics, and Cougar Management
David J. Mattson and Susan G. Clark

15 Cougar Conservation: The Growing Role of Citizens and Government
Sharon Negri and Howard Quigley

16 Pressing Business
Maurice Hornocker

Appendix 1: Genetics Techniques Primer
Appendix 2: Cougar Harvest in the United States
Appendix 3: Groups Participating in Cougar Management
Appendix 4: Cougar Litigation Summary, a Partial Listing
Appendix 5: Summary of Cougar Ballot Initiatives in the United States


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Maurice Hornocker is director of the Selway Institute. Sharon Negri is the director and founder of WildFutures.

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