MOUNTAIN LION: Predators

MOUNTAIN LION — PredatorsHere’s a program from our archives.musicMountain Lions make their home up in the Rocky Mountains, along the border between Idaho and Utah, and this month, they’re on the move. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience: Mountain LionWe’re listening to the sounds of a Mountain Lion. When winter comes and snow covers the Mountain Lion’s territory, these cats are forced to follow their primary prey, the Mule Deer, to their wintering range.Laundr: The deer are moving to areas of south facing slopes where there’s less snow and more food available and the mountain lions are moving to those same areas to prey upon the Mule Deer.Dr. John Laundr is an Assistant Research Professor with Idaho State University, and a Principal Investigator with the Earthwatch Institute. He explains that beyond the lethal impact that a predator like the Mountain Lion has on its prey, they have another, important effect.Laundr: The non-lethal impact of mountain lions and predators in general, is they scare their prey. And that has an impact on how the prey use their habitat. Without predation a prey species potentially can feed anywhere it wants to. With a risk of predation it has to selectively choose areas where the risk of predation may be lower and that can have a drastic influence on how they use their habitat and thus the impact that they would have on their habitat.Dr. Laundr is currently studying the way in which the Mountain Lions and the Mule Deer play out their predator/prey relationship. We’ll hear more in future programs. We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I’m Jim Metzner.

MOUNTAIN LION: Predators

When winter comes, Mountain Lions are on the move, in pursuit of their primary prey, the Mule Deer.
Air Date:02/11/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

MOUNTAIN LION -- PredatorsHere's a program from our archives.musicMountain Lions make their home up in the Rocky Mountains, along the border between Idaho and Utah, and this month, they're on the move. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience: Mountain LionWe're listening to the sounds of a Mountain Lion. When winter comes and snow covers the Mountain Lion's territory, these cats are forced to follow their primary prey, the Mule Deer, to their wintering range.Laundr: The deer are moving to areas of south facing slopes where there's less snow and more food available and the mountain lions are moving to those same areas to prey upon the Mule Deer.Dr. John Laundr is an Assistant Research Professor with Idaho State University, and a Principal Investigator with the Earthwatch Institute. He explains that beyond the lethal impact that a predator like the Mountain Lion has on its prey, they have another, important effect.Laundr: The non-lethal impact of mountain lions and predators in general, is they scare their prey. And that has an impact on how the prey use their habitat. Without predation a prey species potentially can feed anywhere it wants to. With a risk of predation it has to selectively choose areas where the risk of predation may be lower and that can have a drastic influence on how they use their habitat and thus the impact that they would have on their habitat.Dr. Laundr is currently studying the way in which the Mountain Lions and the Mule Deer play out their predator/prey relationship. We'll hear more in future programs. We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I'm Jim Metzner.