Pumas or cougars learn their former habitats in the Midwest United States, researchers report in an article published in The Journal of Wildlife Management.
"Cougars started to leave these places (Midwest — Ed.) About a hundred years ago because of hunting and habitat loss. As a result, there was only a small isolated population of mountain lions in the American West. In this study, we were able to provide strong evidence that western population increases, and also began to settle cougars Midwest, "- said one of the study participants Lyaryu biologist Michelle (Michelle LaRue), as quoted in the press release edition Wiley-Blackwell, published a magazine.
It clarifies Lyaryu, before the study was considered that in the Midwest only three small populations of cougars in the Black Hills (South Dakota). Meanwhile, there were cases when the cougar left the area and disposed of at considerable distances. For example, one male overcame some 2.9 thousand kilometers, passing through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York to Connecticut.
"While cougars rarely reach Connecticut, we found that predators" examine "the terrain at a distance and then come back to some parts of their former habitat in the Midwest" — added the biologist.
She also said that scientists have found evidence of an annual increase in the number of stay cougars on natural areas of the Midwest since 1990. As evidence, the researchers used the attacks on livestock, photo and video, as well as samples of feces, saliva, and the remains of predators. With about 60% of cases predator or traces of his presence is concentrated in a radius of 20 kilometers. In this case, explains biologist, this area can be considered as a potential habitat for cougars.
The scientists in the study also found that cougars scouts reach the extreme boundaries of the Midwest, from Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. Moreover, almost 80% of the found remains belonged to male predators cougars. According to scientists, the male scouts examine the territory of the future settlement of the main population.
"The open question is how a person can break after centuries coexist with large predators," — said Larue.
Puma — one of the big cats, which is comparable in size and strength with the jaguar. Originally cougar lived in areas of Alaska and Canada to Argentina. Predator diet consists mainly of various species of deer.