Evaluating cougar translocation in New Mexico

  • Published source details Ruth T.K., Logan K.A., Swearnor L.L., Hornocker M.G. & Temple L.J. (1998) Evaluating cougar translocation in New Mexico. Journal of Wildlife Management, 62, 1264-1275.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range

    A study in 1989–1993 at nine temperate shrubland and coniferous woodland sites in New Mexico, USA (Ruth et al. 1998) found that survival rates of translocated cougars Puma concolor were lower than those of resident populations, and two translocated females produced offspring. Nine of 13 cougars (69%) died within four years of translocation. Annual survival rates of translocated female (55%) and male (44%) cougars were lower than of non-translocated resident animals (86%). Two translocated females produced offspring. The main cause of mortality was from aggressive interactions with other cougars. In April 1989, one cougar was released at one site in the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico. From December 1990 to June 1991, thirteen cougars were released in eight sites in the Sangre de Christo Mountains, New Mexico. Released animals were radio-tracked by air or from the ground through to January 1993. Survival rates of translocated cougars were compared to those of 15 radio-tracked cougars that had not been translocated.

    (Summarised by: Laura Bennett)

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