Mountain lion, cougar, puma, panther, catamount, léon, Puma concolor. These are among the many names used to describe a large, lithe, solitary predator that ranges across North and South America. Concolor means “single color” and is meant to describe the uniform coat of adult mountain lions. Those of us who are intimate with them, however, know that mountain lion fur varies from orange-rust to tawny-yellow to slate gray, and that the various hues in a single cat’s coat are too many to count.
The primary work of Dr. Mark Elbroch is studying mountain lions in hopes of contributing to their conservation. Mark contributes widely through various outreach as well as with scientific publications. His research falls into the following categories:
- How do mountain lions communicate and interact with each other, as families as well as territorial adults?
- What do mountain lions eat, how often do they eat, and why do they select the prey they do?
- What are the relationships between mountain lions and other carnivores, like bears and wolves?
- What positive roles do mountain lions play in natural systems?
- How do we decrease irrational fear of mountain lions and better coexist with them and other large predators?
A complete list of Mark Elbroch’s scientific publications can be found on researchgate.com.