MOUNTAIN LIONS

Mountain lions were once found coast to coast. But now that humans have become the dominant species, the lions are restricted to increasingly smaller patches of wilderness. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

ambience: mountain lions

The sounds we’re listening to are being made by a pair of mountain lions recorded in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

“Mountain lions are, in a sense, 120 to 150 pound house cats. They have the same physical features in that they have the long tail; they walk like a house cat, they bound like a house cat, except that they weigh a lot more.”

Dr. John Laundr is a research professor of biology at Idaho State University.

“The main pressure facing mountain lion populations is habitat loss. Where there’s adequate habitat, they seem to be able to withstand hunting pressure from humans as well as other mortality factors that affect any population. But when you start reducing the habitat down to where there’s a critical minimum below which they can’t live, and an objective of our study is to determine exactly what that is.”

“The impact of the loss of mountain lions from an ecosystem- or in other words, the niche in which they occupy- is similar to the impact of the loss of other large predators from a system. What we find is that the world can be divided up into two camps, predators and food. And all the other plants and animals that are the food in a way rely on the predators to prevent them from overpopulating.”

Our thanks to Clay Reeves for the Mountain Lion recordings.

Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

MOUNTAIN LIONS

According to one scientist, the once common Mountain Lion is a little like a 150 pound house cat.
Air Date:11/22/1999
Scientist:
Transcript:

Mountain lions were once found coast to coast. But now that humans have become the dominant species, the lions are restricted to increasingly smaller patches of wilderness. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

ambience: mountain lions

The sounds we're listening to are being made by a pair of mountain lions recorded in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

"Mountain lions are, in a sense, 120 to 150 pound house cats. They have the same physical features in that they have the long tail; they walk like a house cat, they bound like a house cat, except that they weigh a lot more."

Dr. John Laundr is a research professor of biology at Idaho State University.

"The main pressure facing mountain lion populations is habitat loss. Where there's adequate habitat, they seem to be able to withstand hunting pressure from humans as well as other mortality factors that affect any population. But when you start reducing the habitat down to where there's a critical minimum below which they can't live, and an objective of our study is to determine exactly what that is."

"The impact of the loss of mountain lions from an ecosystem- or in other words, the niche in which they occupy- is similar to the impact of the loss of other large predators from a system. What we find is that the world can be divided up into two camps, predators and food. And all the other plants and animals that are the food in a way rely on the predators to prevent them from overpopulating."

Our thanks to Clay Reeves for the Mountain Lion recordings.

Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.