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

Arizona Project

Using Genetic Methods to Estimate Social Structure and Reproductive Success of a Puma Population and Implications on Effects of Sport-Hunting

December 2009 - December 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Arizona Game & Fish Dept.

Goal: Examine substructure and connectivity of pumas on the Uncompahgre Plateau of Colorado; describe relatedness, paternity, and reproductive success of adults in the population. We will examine the genetics of a puma population that was not hunted for five years, then subsequently hunted again for five years, to reveal if hunting may change the relatedness, social structure, and reproductive success of individuals in the population in a manner that may signal potential changes in fitness and phenotypic traits. This could inform managers and stakeholders about potential outcomes of current management models, and if necessary provide alternate management models to modify management for pumas to lessen the fitness impact from hunting.