Characteristics of two mountain lion Puma concolor populations in Texas, USA Academic Article uri icon


  • Influential factors associated with population dynamics of mountain lions Puma concolor include exploitation rates, prey availability, habitat structure and social structure. Throughout most of North America, mountain lion harvest is regulated by state or provincial quotas or is protected by federal laws. In Texas, however, they are not classified as a game or fur-bearing animal so their harvest is not regulated. To better understand the differences between population characteristics of mountain lions in west Texas (WTX) and south Texas (STX), we initiated two ecological studies. We captured, radio-marked and monitored mountain lions to ascertain survival, mortality factors, density, reproduction and population structure. We captured and monitored 19 and 21 mountain lions in the STX and WTX study sites, respectively. Average densities (No/100 km 2) were different between our two study sites (STX = 0.269, WTX = 0.427) and were considerably lower than in previous studies. Mortality factors also differed between the two areas; in STX the causes were predominantly hunter harvest compared to trapping in WTX. Seasonal survival rates of mountain lions were lower during the general hunting season (STX = 0.783, WTX = 0.750) than during the non-hunting season (STX = 0.962, WTX = 0.931). Because population characteristics differed between the two genetically separated populations (Walker et al. 2000), resource managers should consider evaluating regional, rather than statewide management plans for mountain lions in Texas. 2012 Wildlife Biology, NKV.

published proceedings

  • Wildlife Biology

author list (cited authors)

  • Harveson, P. M., Harveson, L. A., HernandezSantin, L., Tewes, M. E., Silvy, N. J., & Pittman, M. T.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Harveson, Patricia Moody||Harveson, Louis A||Hernandezā€Santin, Lorna||Tewes, Michael E||Silvy, Nova J||Pittman, Michael T

publication date

  • March 2012