Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: azgfd.gov Arizona Game and Fish Department
  

Phone Number
BUY LICENSES | BIG GAME DRAW | eNEWS | CALENDAR | VIDEO | HUNTING | FISHING | WILDLIFE VIEWING | CONSERVATION | EDUCATION | BOATING | SHOOTING | OHV | SITE MAP | EMPLOYMENT
 
AZGFD Home
Online Services
Newsroom
Hunting & Fishing
Outdoor Recreation
Wildlife & Conservation
 
Living with Wildlife
Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy
Teaming With Wildlife
Conservation & Management
Heritage Fund Program
Research
Technical Reports
Landscaping for Desert Wildlife
Wildlife Related Diseases
Nongame Species
Arizona's Natural Heritage Program (HDMS)
Project Evaluation Program (PEP)
Economic Impact
Special Permits
Resources
Invasive Species Advisory Council
Information & Education
Inside AZGFD
Customer Service
 
Mountain lions in Arizona: a closer look at a secretive predator
 

Background:
Mountain lions, also known as pumas or cougars, are found throughout Arizona. Lions are secretive animals, and sightings of these elusive animals are typically rare.

However, development in optimal lion habitat has increased due to the state’s increasing human population, and encounters with mountain lions have become more common. Of particular interest to the Arizona Game and Fish Department are lion habitat use and movement relative to urban areas. In the past, biologists have had difficulty tracking mountain lions due to their large home ranges and use of rough terrain. Recent advancements in technology, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars, have allowed biologists to study lion movements regardless of where they spend their time.

Since it is largely unknown how lions use habitats in and around urban areas in Arizona, this study will provide us a closer look at this interesting and wide-ranging predator.

Location:
We are working in three different areas of Arizona. Our study sites include areas surrounding Tucson, Payson, and Prescott.



Approach:
We have conducted capture operations for lions since the fall of 2005. Our goal is to capture approximately 10 lions in the Tucson area and approximately 20 lions total in the Payson and Prescott areas. Once a lion is captured, each animal is fitted with a GPS radio-collar that has been programmed to collect a precise location (via satellites) every seven hours, which is stored on a microchip inside the collar. Each month we fly and locate all lions to upload the location data from the lion’s collar to a laptop computer in the plane. After a pre-determined operation time, a pre-programmed release mechanism on the collar causes it to automatically dropoff for retrieval. All location data are analyzed using Geographic Information System (GIS) software and other analytical programs.

Benefits:
This study will provide insight into the annual home range size of Arizona mountain lions, their use of and proximity to urban areas, the types of habitat they frequent, and the length of their movements.

For more information contact:
Ted McKinney, Arizona Game and Fish Department - WMRS, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000
Phone: 623-236-7248, Email: tmckinney@azgfd.gov

 
back to top
 
Related AZGFD Info
- Sport Fish Species
- Watchable Wildlife
- Sign up for AZGFD eNews

Mission | Frequently Asked Questions | Web Policy | Send Comments | Employment | Commission Agenda | Office Locations | Site Map | Search | © 2013 AZGFD