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Mountain lions, sometimes called pumas or cougars, were once spread throughout the United States, occupying all 48 of the contiguous states. By the 1960s, though, they were almost extinct in central and eastern North America. In Mountain Lions of the Black Hills, Dr. Jonathan Jenks, who, along with his team of graduate students, has tracked over 200 of these fascinating predators, tells the complex story of the big cats' lives in the northern Great Plains.
Jenks reports on mountain lion population dynamics, diet, nutrition, diseases, behavior, and genetics. He explores the impact of a changing prey base on population growth and decline, movements within and away from the region, and hunting on the species; discusses interactions between the cats and livestock; and examines local people's evolving perceptions of mountain lions. Throughout, Jenks explores how we can balance conservation techniques with the needs of humans.
Providing a unique look into how a large, secretive predator recolonized an isolated region of North America, Mountain Lions of the Black Hills is required reading for wildlife professionals. A captivating text for anyone struck by the wild majesty of these big cats, Mountain Lions of the Black Hills provides invaluable data upon which to make sound management decisions in the Great Plains and beyond.
Jonathan Jenks is a Distinguished Professor of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University. He is the editor of Managing Cougars in North America.