Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New Mexico
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New Mexico Project


Predation rates and use of habitats and wildlife drinkers by mountain lions

January 2015 - July 2020


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

For decades, State and Federal wildlife management agencies have built and supplied man-made water sources within desert landscapes, making surface water a consistent and stable feature. However, some have speculated that the provision of surface water could be counterproductive for management because it may: 1) lure ungulates from preferable areas (such as escape terrain) thereby increasing their risk of predation; 2) predators may linger near water sources to increase their chances of killing a visiting ungulate; and 3) water sources may make areas previously inhospitable for carnivores hospitable, exacerbating losses in ungulates. Thus by providing surface water to increase ungulate populations, it may attract predators (and prey), thereby increasing kills on ungulate species. The goals of this project are to evaluate the effect that wildlife drinkers have on mountain lion habitat selection and to determine if mountain lion kills are disproportionately located near man-made perennial water sources. The project is a collaborative effort between the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Armendaris Ranch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Presentations Presentation Date
Prude, C.H., J.W. Cain III, and G. Harris. 2017. The influence of anthropogenic water on puma habitat use and prey selection in arid ecosystems. 12th Mountain Lion Workshop, Estes Park, Colorado, USA. 2017-05-16
Prude, C.H., J.W. Cain III, and G. Harris. 2017. The influence of anthropogenic water on puma habitat use and prey selection in arid ecosystems. 24th Annual Conference of the Wildlife Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. (POSTER) 2017-09-24
Prude, C.H., J.W. Cain III, and G. Harris. 2020. Habitat heterogeneity in the Chihuahuan Desert and puma diet diversity. 53rd Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society, Prescott, Arizona, USA. 2020-02-01
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Prude, C.H. 2020. Influence of habitat heterogeneity and water sources on kill site locations and puma prey composition. M.S. Thesis, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. 96 pp. 2020-07-31