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5 - Proposal from Colorado Division of Wildlife to continue study of cougars on OSMP property CITY OF BOULDER OPEN SPACE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AGENDA ITEM MEETING llATE: November 12, 2008 AGENDA TITLE: Proposal from Colorado Division of Wildlife to continue study of cougars on OSMP property PRESENTERS: Open Space and Mountain Parks Michael D. Patton, Director Heather M. Swanson, Wildlife Ecologist Colorado Division of Wildlife Mathew Alldredge, Mammals Researcher EXI+;~;i1TIVE SUMMARY: "I'hc Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) has submitted a proposal to continue studying the interaction between humans and cougars on city of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) properties. In 2007, the CUOW began aone-year pilot study to test the logistical, social, and political constraints that govern cougar research along the Front Range. The Open Space Board of Trustees heard a presentation from CDOW on March 28, 2007 and the public was given a chance to comment at that meeting. During the pilot study, CDOW captured and collared 18 cougars on OSMP, Boulder County Parks and Open Space and Jefferson County Open Space as well as private and tJS forest Service property. following completion of the pilot study period, CDOW submitted a 5-year study plan. and pilot study report to OSMP for consideration (Attachments A and B). CDOW's proposal for "Demographics and human interactions of cougars in Colorado's urban/exurban Front Range" is focused on 5 major research topics. These areas of examination include: 1) Collect natural history information, including sex and age structure, birth rates, survival rates, emigration rates, immigration rates, habitat use, movement patterns, and home ranges; 2) Predator-prey relationships, including predation rates and diet composition; 3) Population estimation, including the evaluation of existing techniques and possibly the development or refinement of new techniques; 4) Evaluation of aversive conditioning to determine appropriate management response levels to human conflict; and 5) Evaluation of relocation of cougars interacting with humans to determine the individual level response in terms of survival and relocation success, and the local population level response to the removal of a cougar. OSMP staff is currently working on an agreement with CDOW to allow the use of OSMP properties for this project (Attachment C). AGENDA ITEM # PAGE 1 STAFF RECOMMENDATION: This is an information item only. No action is requested from the OSBT at this time. Staff recommends proceeding with the study. COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENTS AND IMPACTS: • Economic: "I'he Open Space and Mountain Parks program contributes to the economic vitality of the city because it provides the setting and services that help to attract a diversity of businesses and to recruit and retain employees. • Environmental: Environmental impacts may include the impact to individual cougars of capture and handling. The study plan has been approved by the state's Animal Care and Use Committee. Possible impacts to other species or non-study animals include possible capture in traps intended for cougars and introduction of relocated animals into the home range of resident cougars. Other possible impacts could result from use of off- . trail areas on OSMP. This impact will be minimized and directed to less sensitive areas on OSMP whenever possible. • Social: Monitoring wildlife provides information needed to improve OSMP's ability to effectively protect environmental resources that support the aesthetics of the visitor experience. OTHER IMPACTS: • Staff time: The Icvel of staff involvement is expected to be similar to the pilot study and will likely include needs for staff to manage coordination, communication and some limited field work. This work is expected to fit within existing work plans. • l~ fiscal: This project is being funded entirely by CDOW. No OSMP funding is required. PUBLIC FF,EDBACK: "1'he city has received a letter from Wild Earth Guardians in support of the study proposal (Attachment D). This meeting is intended to provide an opportunity for the public to comment. T'he Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) heard this proposal at their October 23, 2008 meeting. At that time, one member of the public spoke in favor of the study plan. The POSAC voted at that time to recommend sending the study plan (with all techniques included) to the county commissioners for approval on Boulder County Parks and Open Space properties. Jefferson County Parks and Open Space staff has indicated that they expect to approve the 5-year study plan. ANALYSIS: The close proximity of urban/exurban areas along Colorado's Front Range to suitable and often high quality cougar habitat makes interactions between humans and cougars inevitable. 1-lowever, understanding of cougar biology/ecology is lacking largely due to the difficulty and expense of studying such an elusive, wide-ranging, and solitary species. Five cougar studies have been conducted in Colorado since the 1974s, but few have specifically addressed cougar/human interactions. 'fo examine these interactions and aspects of cougar biology/ecology, the CDOW undertook a one-year pilot research project beginning in 2007. "I'he results of the study were positive. l;ighteen cougars were captured and collared including 3 captures on OSMP. 'These animals AGENDA ITEM # PACE 2 were successfully monitored according to the pilot study plan and capture handling techniques. Aversive conditioning was tested in a few circumstances and these experiences confirmed that aversive conditioning is a feasible objective for further study. At this time, CROW is proposing to extend and expand the study of cougars on OSMP based on a 5-year study plan. ~'he currently-proposed study would be conducted in [3oulder and Jefferson counties, in an area from near Interstate Highway 70 north to approximately Lyons, Colorado, which is also the study area used in the pilot project. This may be expanded to include Gilpin and Larimer counties in the future. The currently-collared cats will be included in the study and efforts to capture additional cats will likely take place on OSMP as well as other county, federal and private property within this area. Although a variety of methods may be used elsewhere (tracking hounds, snares), only baited cage traps will be used on USMP lands. All captured cougars will be fitted with North Star Satellite GPS collars, ear-tagged with uniquely identifiable numbers, tattooed, and a genetic sample collected using an ear-punch. Sex, approximate age from tooth wear, weight and morphomctric measurements will be recorded and a blood sample will be withdrawn. In addition, cubs located in their dens will be fitted with North Star solar PTT eartags. To develop an understanding of how cougars are using habitats during normal activity periods and responding to human activity as well as locating kill sites and dens, location data will be recorded eight times per day on each collar. Location data will be downloaded daily. The five main sections of the study and associated objectives are: 1. Front Range Cougar Natural History Objectives: a) Determine age oi' first parturition, and litter sizes. b) Determine survival rates and Cause-specific mortality for adults, sub-adults, and kittens. c) Determine emigration rates and dispersal distances for sub-adults. d) Determine the age and sex structure of the population and assess the variability with regard to management actions. c) Determine home-ranges, movement patterns, and habitat use with regard to human density and activity. Methods Summary: Attempt to collar and monitor all adult and sub-adult animals within study area. Experiment with use of transmitter eartags on kittens to track and monitor them within the study area. Kittens will be handled at dens located through use of trail cameras and clustered use of an area by females. 2. Front Range Cougar Predator-prey Relationships Objectives a) Determine diet composition for cougars on age, sex and season. b) Determine predation rates or diet composition on deer and elk based nn age, sex and season. AGENDA 1TF;V1 # P,4GF. 3 Methods Summary: Identify clusters of location points signaling concentrated use of an area. Visit area to determine if a kill site is located there and collect data on prey items following movement of cougar away from area. 3. Colorado Cougar Population Estimation Objectives a) Evaluate various lures (scents, baits, and calls) to attract cougars in relation to known cougar locations. b) Further refine models for probability-based sampling using CDOW GPS data sets of collared cougars. c) Assess the detection rates of cougar tracks in snow using aircraft. Methods Summary: Evaluate success of lures at attracting a cougar (presence detected with cameras) that is known to be in the area of the lure. Simulate track transects with known movement of cougars and evaluate the probability of encountering tracks. Compare simulations to actual track encounter rates based on small scale samples using aircraft. 4. Evaluation of Cougar Response to Aversive Conditioning Techniques Objectives a) Assess the effectiveness of various methods of aversive conditioning in teens of decreased use of urban areas and incident rates. h) Statistically test the effectiveness of the methods identified from the f rst objective. . Methods Summary: Identify cougars that are involved in human interactions or are using human dominated areas to a degree that suggests they are habituated. These animals will be aversively conditioned using beanbag rounds or rubber buckshot either at the location of the interaction (if it is possible to chase them out of human areas easily to adjacent open space) or after capture, removal from the urban area and release on open space. Use of hound chases (off Open Space) and pepper spray may be necessary if beanbags and rubber buckshot are ineffective. Monitor re-occurrence of human interactions following aversive conditioning. After methods are evaluated for effectiveness, acase-control study may be set up to statistically test effectiveness. 5. F,valuation of Cougar Relocation Objectives a) I::valuate relocation success for cougars involved in management-related relocations. i. Further quanti fy relocation success by sex and/or age classes. ii. Further quantify relocation failures in terms of return rates, mortality rates, and recidivism rates. b) Quantify post-release movement distances and directions c) F,valuate the potential for multiple relocations of cougars following initial relocation efforts. d) > :valuate relocation expense relative to relocation success. Methods Summary: Cougars that are relocated long distances (30-80 km for sub-adults, 80-150 km for adults) for management purposes (due to human interaction or livestock depredation) AGENDA ITEM # PAGE 4 will be fitted with VHF collars and monitored for at least 1-year following relocation. This portion of the study will include cougars relocated from within the study area as well as surrounding areas within the Northeastern Section of Colorado. Understanding of cougar populations, natural history and effectiveness of management actions will be critical to future management of cougars along the Front Range to ensure a continuing and self-sustaining cougar population in the face of increasing human development, disturbance, and presence. This study will provide this crucial information for wildlife managers and increase the likelihood that human-cougar interactions can be managed in a productive, effective manner in the future. Submitted by: Michael D. Patton, Director Heather M. Swanson, Wildlife Ecologist A'T'I'ACHMF,i~`TS: A. Full CDOW Study Plan proposal B. Pilot Study Annual Summary Report C. Draft Letter of Agree?nent 1J. Wild Earth Guardians l,ettcr AGFNUA ITEM # PAGE 5 PROGRAM NARRATIVE STUDY PLAN FOR MAMMALS RESEARCH FY 2008-09 - FY 20013-14 State of: Colorado Division of Wildlife Cost Center: 3430 Mammals Research Work Package: 3003 Predatory Mammals Conservation Task No.: 2 Demographics and I Iuman Interactions of Cougars in Colorado's lirban/Exurban Front Range Federal Aid Project No. N/A DEMOGRAPHICS AND HUMAN INTERACTIONS OF COUGARS IN COLORADO'S URBAN/EXURBAN FRONT-RANGE Principal Investi ag tors Mathew W. Alldredge, Wildlife Researcher, Mammals Research David J. Freddy, Mammals Research Leader Cooperators Steve Yamashita. NE Regional Manager Kathi Green, NE Assistant Regional Manager harry Rogstad, Liza Hunholz, Reid DeWalt, NE Area District Wildlife Managers Janet George, NE Senior Terrestrial Biologist Fred Quartarone, Wildlife Manager STUDY PLAN APPROVAL Prepared by: Mathew W. Alldredge Date: Sep. 2008 Submitted by; Mathew W. Alldredge Date: Sep. 2008 Reviewed by: Vicky Dreitz Date: Sep. 2008 Chad Bishop Date: Sep. 2008 Date: Biometrician Review Paul Lukacs Date: Sep. 2008 Approved by: David J. Freddy Date: Oct. 2008 Mammals Research Leader 1 PROGRAM NARRATIVE STUDY PLAN FY 2008-09 - 2013-14 DEMOGRAPffICS AND HUMAN INTERACTIONS OF CUUCARS IN CULURADO'S URBAN/EXURBAN FRONT-RANGE A study proposal submitted by: Mathew W. Alldredge, Wildlife Researcher, Mammals Research David J. Freddy, Mammals Research Leader Program Uvcrview: "fhe Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) is statutorily responsible for managing cougars to provide for the long-teen conservation of cougars as a viable species, to maintain human safety, to mitigate depredation to livestock, and to provide hunting opportunities. In order to achieve these responsibilities, CDO~'V's managers need reliable information on cougar biology and ecology within the state to develop management strategies that meld with diverse public interests, values, and perceptions, while still meeting the objectives of CDOW's strategic plan of ``achieving healthy, self-sustaining populations" (CROW 2002-2007 Strategic Plan:9). "1'he viability of cougar populations is primarily influenced by human activity through the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of cougar habitat (Murphy et al. 1999, Logan and Sweanor 2001). In light of the fact that human populations in the Western United States are growing at one oCthe most rapid rates in the country (Papouchis 2004), there is an urgency to develop an understanding of cougar biology and ecology in areas highly impacted by humans and use this knowledge to develop adaptive managernent strategies that focus on maintaining human safety and viable, self-sustaining cougar populations. Despite numerous cougar studies across the Western United States, human understanding of cougar biology/ecology is nascent, largely because of the difficulty and expense of studying such an elusive, wide-ranging, and solitary species (Papouchis 2004). Technological advances, such as GPS telemetry, will increase the ability of researchers to gather valuable information on cougars, but such research has just begun, such as the Uncompahgre Plateau research project (Logan 2005). Even less information is known about cougar biology/ecology within urban/exurban environments. five cougar studies have been conducted in Colorado since the i970's, but none of these have specifically addressed cougar-human interactions. The ongoing research project on the Uncompahgre Plateau (Logan 2005) has many similar objectives to the front-range project, as both studies will provide information on population characteristics and vital rates. This will provide important infor~rrration for managernent purposes regarding potential differences between urban/exurban populations and those that are significantly less impacted by human population growth. Cougar population response to management prescriptions taken in response to human conflict is the unique aspect of this study. In 2005, the CDOW's Director mandated that a research project be developed to specifically address issues of cougar-human interaction along the front-range of Colorado, as a result of the continually increasing number of cougar-human incidents that CDOW personnel respond to annually. In May 2005, a meeting was held to discuss interest and research needs for cougars in the front-range, which included CDOW personnel, as well as representatives of major public land-holders (for example, county and city open space). The five goals for afront-range cougar research study identified from this meeting were: public education, an assessment of public opinion and knowledge, predator-prey interactions, an 2 assessment of human risk and response of cougars to management actions, and natural history information. A survey of the public was conducted regarding public knowledge and opinion of cougars in Colorado. In this survey, most people knew how to actin cougar country, 96% of the respondents agreed that it was important to know cougars exist in Colorado, and 93% thought it was important that they exist for future generations (CI)OW, unpublished data). In 2007-08 a pilot study was conducted along the front-range of Colorado, specifically in Boulder and Jefferson Counties, to assess the feasibility of a long-term cougar study in the area. The results of this study were positive, suggesting support from major public land-holders in the area (Jefferson County Open Space, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, and City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks) and general support for the continuation of the study. In addition, capture and handling techniques were assessed, as well as the reliability of Lotek GPS collars, and have proven to be sufficient to justify the continuation of the study. Finally, internal protocols (Appendix 1) were developed to guide the interaction between research and management actions for cougars interacting with humans in order to concurrently maintain the integrity of the research project anti human safety. 'T'hese protocols have worked well and will be followed during long-term research efforts. Given the breadth and diversity of the research objectives for the front-range cougar research project, we will address 5 major research topics separately within this study plan: 1) ?`'atural history information, including sex and age structure, birth rates, survival rates, emigration rates, immigration rates, habitat use, movement patterns, and home-ranges, 2) Predator-prey relationships, including predation rates and diet composition, 3) Population estimation, including the evaluation of existing techniques and possibly the development or refinement of new techniques, 4) Evaluation of aversive conditioning to determine appropriate management response levels to human conflict, and 5) Evaluation of relocation of cougars interacting with humans to determine the individual level response in terms of survival and relocation success, and the local population level response to the removal of a cougar. Literature Cited: Colorado Division of Wildlife 2002-2007 Strategic Plan. 2002. Colorado Department of Natural Resouces, Division of Wildlife. Denver. Logan, K.A. 2005. Puma population stnrcture and vital rates on the Uncompahgre Plateau, Colorado. Wildlife Research Report, July: 105-126. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, iJSA. Logan, K.A. and L.L. Sweanor. 2001. Desert puma: evolutionary ecology and conservation of an enduring carnivore. Island Press, Washington, I).C. Murphy, K.M., P.I. Ross, and M.G. Ilornocker. 1999. "I'he ecology of anthropogenic influences on cougars, in Carnivores in F.•.cosystems: The Yellowstone Experience, Ed. T.W. Clark, A.P. Curless, S.C. Minta, and P.M. Kareiva, 77-102. Yale University Press, New Haven, C1'. Papouchis, C.M. 2004. Conserving mountain lions in a changing landscape, in People and Predators: From Conflict to Coexistence, ed. N. Fascione, A. Detach, and M. E. Smith, 219-239. Island Press, Washington, D.C. 3 Subsection I: Front-rani;e Cougar Natural History: Need: Although there have been several quality cougar research projects that have provided valuable information on cougar populations, (e.g., [,indzey et al. 1984, Logan and Sweanor 2001 there remains a paucity of information that can accurately guide management. The results from the information that does exist regarding cougar population characteristics are inconclusive and/or reveal a high degree of variability and uncertainty. Information on cougars inhabiting urban/exurban areas is even more limited, making management of these populations more difficult. The mean age at first parturition for free-ranging female cougars is 24-30 months (Anderson 1983, Logan and Sweanor 2001), with inter-birth intervals of 17 months (Logan and Sweanor 2001) to 24 months (Maehr et al. 1991, [,indzey et al. 1994). Mean litter size has generally been estimated near 2.7 kittens/litter, with litters of 2 or 3 being the most common, and records of litters of 4 and I kittens (Anderson 1983). These estimates could be low as they may not reflect early postpartum mortality. Logan and Sweanor (2001) reported higher average litter sizes with a mean of 3 kittens per litter. Adult survival is relativel;~ constant with age, and estimates range between 52 to 100% (Lindzey et al. 1988, Anderson et al. 1992, Beier and Barrett 1993). Survival of dependent young ranges from less than 50% to over 90% (Hernker et al. 1982, Anderson et al. 1992, Beier and Barrett 1993, Logan and Sweanor 2001), but again may be biased by mortalities occurring prior to litter discovery. Young become independent and disperse at 10 to 18 months of age (Anderson et al. 1992, Sweanor et al. 2000, Maehr et al. 2002). Almost all males disperse, regardless of cougar density, with typical dispersal distances of 85 to 100 km (Sweanor et al. 2000). Ilowever, 50 to 80% of females remain in their natal range, establishing overlapping home-ranges with other breeding females (Sweanor et al. 2000). Sweanor ct al. (2000) is the only study to have estimated rates of emigration/immigration. Cougar survival and dispersal have not been documented in urban areas where cause specific mortality may be very different than more natural areas, with the exception of the highly fragmented areas of California (Beier 1995, Dickson and Beier 2002). For non-hunted cougar populations, resident. adults comprise 47-82% of the population, generally with more females than males (Seidensticker et al. 1973, Hemker et al. 1984, Logan and Sweanor 2001). [n moderately hunted populations adults may comprise between 32 to 50% of the population (Logan 1983). Sex,~age composition for a moderately hunted cougar population in Wyoming was 63% subadults, 23% adult males, and 14% adult females (Anderson and Lindzey 2005). However, these estimates of composition reflect cougar vulnerability to harvest based on age classes. In urban areas sex/age composition will reflect management actions directed towards cougars interacting with humans, which has not been documented. Cougars have the broadest geographic distribution of any terrestrial mammal in the western hemisphere (Logan and Sweanor 200 I requiring habitats that provide adequate prey and cover (Ackerman 1984, Seidensticker et al. 1973, Logan and Irwin 1985) which are provided along the front- range of Colorado. The quality of cougar habitat in the front-range is primarily affected by road density and habitat fragmentation, which will directly influence survival rates through human caused mortality (road-kill and management related removals}. Therefore, we need to develop an understanding of how cougars use urban areas along the front-range in terms ofhome-ranges, movement patterns, and habitat use, to establish the potential for cougar human interaction based on how cougars uti]ize the landscape. The timing of when cougars use urban landscapes, relative to human activity, is also important to understanding the potential for human-cougar interaction. Additionally, the development of habitat use patterns should consider age and sex of the individual as habitat use patterns may be factors of home- range size, behavior, and experience. 4 Obiectives• 1. Determine age of first parturition, and litter sizes. 2. Determine survival rates and cause specific mortality for adults, subaduits, and kittens. 3. Determine emigration rates and dispersal distances for subadults. 4. Determine the age and sex structure of the population and assess the variability with regard to management actions. 5. Determine home-ranges, movement patterns, and habitat use with regard to hu?nan density and activity. Expected Benefits: Information obtained from this part of the study will provide an understanding of cougar population dynamics along the front-range of Colorado. This understanding will help guide management decisions and assess potential population level impacts of management prescriptions. This information tnay also provide valuable insight into population viability and potential causes of population change that differ from those of cougar populations occurring in more natural environments. Approach: Capture and Handling: Realizing that there currently is no information about population size or age structure for cougars along the front-range, it is difficult to assess necessary sample sizes. Given some of our objectives will examine population level effects, we hope to maintain collars on the majority of the adult population (assumed to be between 24 and 36 independent cougars for the front-range population between Lyons and I-70, assuming a density of 2 to 3 independent cougars per 100 km2). Given the high potential for subadult (independent and ] 0 to 24 months old) cougars to interact with humans, and the large sample size required to determine emigration rates and dispersal distances, we will also attempt to collar all subadults over the duration of the study. Handling of kittens < 3 months of age will be minimized and opportunistic. We will attempt to obtain litter size information using trail cameras set on den sites identified by GPS clusters as anon-invasive alternative to capture and handling. Kittens 3-10 months old will be marked with ear-tag VHF transmitters (weight not to exceed 30g) if captured incidentally to other capture efforts. Ear-tag transmitters have been used successfully on kittens >3 months old in previous studies (Anderson, C.A., personal communication). Kittens of collared females > 3 months old will be pursued and marked with ear-tag transmitters while they are still dependent on their mother as this is the most efficient means to marking and monitoring the subadult population as these kittens enter the independent population. We will also test the use of North Star solar P7"f transmitters (weight not to exceed 3Ug) affixed with an ear-tag on kittens > 3 months old. 'I"hose transmitters are 42 mm in length, 17 mm in depth and 12.7 mm in height. They will be programmed to transmit one location per week during the early afternoon to maximize light conditions. The expected life of this device is 3 to 5 years. Assuming these devices perform adequately, we will obtain a tremendous amount of information on cougar survival, dispersal, and settling patterns that has never been documented. As an initial test, we will ear-tag 10 kittens with these devices to determine the performance of the unit and the effects on the kittens. We do not expect these PT"1'tags to have any adverse effects on kittens as they are lighter than ear-tag transmitters that have been successfully used on cougar kittens in past studies. If these PTT tags perform well then we will routinely use these tags to mark all kittens captured during the study. Capture efforts will be conducted year-round, with the primary effort occurring between November and March. Capture with dogs and cage traps will be the primary methods for capturing adult and subadult cougars, but foot-hold snares and free-range darting may also be used if dogs or cage traps are not feasible. Capture of young kittens will be done by hand. A detailed description of CDOW approved capture methods and handling procedures is provided (Appendix II). 5 Cougars will be ear-tagged in each ear with uniquely identifiable numbers, tattooed if required by CDOW Directive W-20, and a genetic sample collected using a 6 mm biopsy punch from each ear. A blood sample (approximately 6 ml) will be collected for disease screening. All cougars will also be PIT tagged for individual identificatioq by injecting a PIT tag in the back of the neck between the ears. Sex, approximate age from tooth wear, weight and morphometric measurements will be recorded. Vital signs will also be monitored during handling of cougars. Adults, subadult females (over 1 year old) and subadult males (over 2 years old), will be fitted with GPS/VI IF or satellite GPS collars. subadult males estimated to be less than 2 years o]d will be fitted with VHF radio collars or satellite GPS collars because of their higher potential to disperse out of the study area. Kittens between 3 months and I year of age will be marked using VHF car-tags (Advanced Telemetry Systems, Model M3400), weighing less than 30 g, or P1"f ear-tags as described previously. Analysis: Analyses for this portion of the study will primarily be descriptive statistics using realized values because of sample size limitations. For example, known fate survival analyses (Willimas et al. 2002) could be done but survival estimates would have little meaning because of the large variance on the estimates due to low sample size. Descriptive statistics for first parturition, inter-birth interval, survival, emigration rate, and age/sex composition will be compared to other studies, especially those in Colorado, and differences assessed in terms of anthropogenic causes. Histograms of dispersal distance and daily movement distances will be created. GPS collars will be programmed to obtain 8 locations per day at 3 hour intervals, which will give us a large amount of information about habitat use and movement patterns. Weighted kernal or nearest neighbor convex hull home-ranges (Getz amd Wilmers 2004, Getz et al. 2007) will he determined for each individual. Within these home-ranges, habitats will be categorized, including urban habitats, and percentage of available habitats will he compared to percent use, which will include use relative to housing densities. In addition to this distance to roads, neighborhoods, cities, and trails will be calculated for each GPS location and the distribution of distance will be examined. Location of Work: The study area consists of Boulder, Jefferson, Gilpin, and Larimer counties, with an initial focus on areas between the cities of I.,yons and Golden. These areas include urban areas, city and county open space lands, as well as state and federally owned lands. There are several neighborhoods in the area that are adjacent to open space properties as well as numerous mountain communities with large lots maintained as forested habitats with significant deer and elk populations. Schedule of Work: This project is projected to start in the winter of 2008 and last for a minimum of 5 years. Time Activity Fall 2007, ongoing Cougar capture Fall 2007, ongoing Monitoring Fall 2007, ongoing Summary data reports Summer 2008, ongoing Annual reportlanalysis Literature Cited: Ackerman, B.B., F.G. Lindzey, and T.P. Hemker. 1984. Cougar food habits in southern Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management 48:I47-155. 6 Anderson, A.E. 1983. A critical review of literature on puma (Felix concolor). Special Report No. 54. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Anderson, A.E., D.C. Bowden, and D.M. Kattncr. 1992. The puma on Uncompahgre Plateau, Colorado. Colorado Division of Wildlife Technical Publication 40, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Anderson, C.R., Jr., and F.G. t,indzey. 2005. Experimental evaluation of population trend and harvest composition in a Wyoming cougar population. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33:179-188. Beier, P. and R.H. Barrett. 1993. The cougar in the Santa Ana Mountain Range California. Final Report to California Department of Fish and Game. Getz, W.M. and C.C. Wihners. 2004. A Local nearest-neighbor convex-hu[1 construction of home ranges and utilization distributions. Ecography 27:489-50~. Getz, W.M., S. Fortmann-Roe, P.C. Cross, A.J. Lyons, S.J. Ryan, and C.C. Wilmers. 2007. LoCoH: Nonparametric kernel methods for constnieting home ranges and utilization distributions. PLoS ONE 2:e207.doi:10.1371%journaLpone.0000207. Hemker, "I'.P., F.G. Lindzey, and B.B. Ackerman. 1984. Population characteristics and movement patterns of cougars in southern tltah. Journal of Wildlife Management 48:1.275-1284. Hemker, T.P., F.G. Lindzey, B.B. Ackerman, and A.J. Button. 1982. Survival of cougar cubs in a non- hunted population. Pages 327-332 in S.D. Miller, and D.D. Everett, editors. Proceeding of the International Cat Symposium, Kingsville, Texas, USA. Lindzey, F.G., B.B. Ackerman, D. Barnhurst, and T.P. Hemker. 1988. Survival rates of mountain Lions in southern Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management 52:664-667. Lindzey, F.G., W.D. Vansickle, B.R. Ackerman, ll. Barnhurst, T.P. Hemker, and S.P. Laing. 1994. Cougar population dynamics in southern Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management 58:619-624. Logan, K.A. 1983. Mountain lion population and habitat characteristics in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Thesis, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA. Logan, K.A. and L.L. Irwin. 1985. Mountain lion habitats in the Big I-corn Mountains, Wyoming. Wildlife Society Bulletin 13:257-262. Logan, K.A. and L.L. Sweanor. 2001. Desert puma: evolutionary ecology and conservation of an ' enduring carnivore. Island Press, Washington, D.C. Maehr, D.S., E.U. Land, and J.C. Roof. 1991. Social ecology of Florida panthers. National Geographic Research & Exploration 7:414-43 ] . Maehr, D.S., E.D. Land, D.B. Shindle, O.L. Bass, and T.S. Hoctor. 2002. Florida panther dispersal and conservation. Biological Conservation 106:187-197. Seidensticker, J.C., IV, M.G. llornocker, W.V. Wiles, and J.P. Messick. 1973. Mountain lion social organization in the Idaho primitive area. Wildlife Monograph 35:1-60. Sweanor, L.L., K.A. Logan, and M.G. Hornocker. 2000. Cougar dispersal patterns, metapopulation dynamics and conservation. Conservation Biology 13:798-808. Williams, B.K., Nichols, J.D. & Conroy, M.J. (2002) Analysis and Management of Animal Populations. Academic Press. San Diego, CA. Subsection 11: Front-range Cougar Predator-prey Relatconships: This subsection, especially the methods, has largely been excerpted from the CDOW's ongoing predator- prey study located on the Uncompahgre Plateau (excerpted text in italics, principal investigators: E. Bergman, C. Bishop, M. Alldredge, and K. Logan). Need: Large carnivores can have significant effects on prey populations as well as ecosystem processes. In fact, some suggest that cougars can have sufficient predation rates to create a predator pit (Cougar Management Guidelines 2005). Certainly there is a strong relationship between predators and their prey, which is affected by prey species composition, prey sex and age structure, and by the predator sex and age 7 structure. Cougars, while capable of preying on a diversity of species, generally select for ungulates (Ackerman et al. 1984, Murphy 1998, Anderson 2003), which would include mule deer and elk along the front-range of Colorado. CIk and deer populations will certainly affect and he affected by cougar populations. 1 lowever, alternate prey, such as smaller mammals, and possibly people's pets and livestock may be utilized by cougars. Cougar diet composition, relative to individual age and sex, may provide useful insights into cougar population dynamics, especially in relation to ungulate population dynamics, and may identify age and/or sex classes that are prone to depredation on pets and livestock. Historically, diet composition studies on large, wide-ranging carnivores have been dif'ficuft and I limited in sample size. However, with the advent of GPS collars, such studies have become more feasible. Anderson and Lindsey (2003) demonstrated the feasibility of'returning to clusters of locations from GPS store-on-board collars. Currently, CDOW is utilizing down-loadable GPS cvllars to identify potential kill sites by looking at clusters oC GPS locations within 2-8 weeks of the formation of the cluster. The data to conduct a diet composition and predation rate study are readily available because of our use of GPS collars for other purposes. With minimal additional time or effort it will be possible to obtain this information which wilt be useful in making management decisions and provide a comparison to the ongoing efforts on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Obiectives• I. Determine diet composition for cougars based on age, sex and season. 2. Determine predation rates or diet composition on deer and elk based on age, sex and season. Expected Benefits: Through the investigation of GPS clusters of cougar locations, a preliminary assessment of prey selection and ungulate use rates can be made (Anderson 2003, Logan 2005). This information can be used to guide management decisions. In the event of changes in ungulate populations, such as a decline in deer populations due to disease, this information would also be useful in predicting the cougar population response and direct management actions to mitigate ecosystem level changes. Approach• As part of the ongoing cougar research project on the front-range, cougars currently wear downloadable GPS collars and additional cougars will continue to be captured. As these cougars are part of an ongoing research project, no additional capture or handling of cougars will be required for this study. In fact, investigation of kill sites will likely occur several weeks after the kill, so no direct interaction with cougars should occur. Identi acation of cougar GPS location clusters: Clusters of GPS locations thought to represent cougar-killed ungulate sites can he determined subjectively by inspection, or objectively using a standard algorithm to group GPS locution points together (Anderson and I,indzey 2003). Eithea• approach may be effective ut findiaag cougar kill sites, bu[ an objective approach provides a sound sampling frame from which statistical inference can be made about clusters that are not physically investigated. We have chosen to develop an objective clustering routine that will group GPS locations together that are spatially and temporally within a sampling window. The clustering routine is designed to identify clusters in five unique selection sets in order to identify clusters containing tx~o or more points, those that contain missing locations, arad those that are represented by single points. The clustering algorithm is written in I~isual Basic and is designed to run 8 I within ARCGLS (Alldredge and ,Schuette, CROW unpubl. Data 2006). The widths of the spatial and temporal sampling windows are user specified, in order to meet multiple applications and research needs. This will enable adjustment of~the sampling frames to improve cluster specifrcations as needed. The initial step is to prepare data files,for ARCGLS. The main step priority is to number all downloaded GPS tat-long location records consecutively to provide a time stamp that can fie used in the program. Failed locations roust be numbered within the data files !o maintain the proper time step (i. e. two locations that are separated by a missing location must be time stamped in such a way that the clustering algorithm can recognize that a missing Ivcation existed between the records). At this point data, files can be imported to ARCGLS and coordinates converted to UTMs if necessary. The initial selection set of clusters (Sr) is based on clusters consisting of two or more points within a specified distance and tune interval. Working with temporal and spatial variables simultaneously is difficult, so we chose to create an association matrix of the combined variables. The units for tune are based on GPS locations so that the ti»te bet»~een consecutive downloads is one. Cougar locations are attempted 8 times a day, so that one day consists of 8time-steps. The association rnan•ix is then constructed as• _ 1 t; - tr . A,~ dM, 1- 8 ~ dr tmax where A;; is the association in time and space between points i and j, d,,,~.r is the maximum distance between two points to he considered a cluster, d;, is the distance between points i and j, t,,,,x, is the maximum number of time steps between points to be considered in a cluster, and t; and tr are the tirnes_for locations i and j. Thi.c formula weights the distance between two locations heavier than the time between two locations. It also causes the association A,~ to be negative fvr any locations that are outside the temporal window (separated by more time-steps than t,,,a~. The association between two locations within the specified time interval will be greatest for those locations that are spatially closer together. So, the largest value in the association matrix will correspond tv the 2 points that are spatially the closest and within the time interval. Initially, d,,,,,,. is set at 200 nr and t,,,Q_r is set at 32 time steps ~9 DAYS] . The initial cluster is selected by choosing the 2 points with the largest association value from the association matrix. The distance is checked to verify that the points are within the specified maximum distance, dm,~, and if it is, the centroid of the two points is calculated. An association vector A~, is made by calculating the association among the centroid and all other points using the above formula. If all values in A~ are negative, then no points are within the specified time interval, so no additional points can be added to the cluster. Then the greatest association value A~.,„„x is selected from A~ and the distance from the centroid to the point corresponding to A~,,,QY is compared to d,,,QX. If the distance is less than d,,,~ then the point is added to the cluster and a new centroid is calculated using all cluster points and a new vector A~ is constructed using the new centroid. This procedure is repeated until no additionalpoints are added to the cluster because either no points are within the specified time interval or the distance from the centroid to al! points is greater tluan d,„~. After each cluster is constructed these points are omitted from the association matrix and a new cluster is started by again selecting the greatest value from the matrix and verifying that the distance between points are less than d,,,,,,Y. Points are again added to this cluster as previously described This entire procedure is repeated until no 2 locations meet the temporal or spatial criteria. All clusters are 9 given a unique identifier, which is based on the animal identification and the Julian date. This completes the selective set for clusters with tx~o or more locations, which likely have a high probability of being a kill site. Additional selection sets can he constructed from the remaining points as single location clusters. However, not all locations are equal, so the remaining selection sets are created hosed o» whether paints are associated with missing locations and based on distance betx~eert consecutive loeatio~ts. The second selection set (S1) of clusters is created from arty 2 points that are within a distance d,,,;,.„ and are separated by 1 or more missing locutions. The cluster is considered to be the area within the distance d,,,QY of each of the known locations (2 areas make :rp the cluster, and d,,s.T is initially set at S00 m). The final 2 cluster selection sets consist of consecutive points that are within the ranges d,,,ax to dz (S,) and d2 to d.; (S~). Tv construct these selection sets, the distance between consecutive paints is examined and if the distance is within the range dn1zti to dz (S00 m) then the initial point is added as a cluster to the set S3, or if the distance is within the range d2 to d, (1000 nt) then the initial point is added as u cluster to the set S,. These single-point clusters are assumed to have radius dmar• Points no! used in selection sets Sr through S, can then be used in a final selection set SS. These points represent larger movements between consecutive locations and thus are thought to have low probabilities of being associated with a kill site, althaugh these points could be associated with use of small prey ftems, or kill sites where a cougar was physically disturbed away from a kill site. These single point clusters are also assumed to have radius d,,,~T. Samplirt.~~ of cougar GP_S location c•tusters: We will follow procedures established for an initial pilot study on the Uncompahgre Plateau. ~ primary objective of the pilot study on the Uncompahgre (Bergman et al. ?007) is to determine the probability that a given cluster represents a cougar feeding site. Specifically, we will evaluate cougar feeding sites as a function of the cluster association matrix. Using the clustering algorithm described above, we will attempt to class fy each suntpled cluster as a cougar feeding site (1) or not a feeding site (0). We expect a high proportion of Sr chtsters to represent cougar feeding sites. Conversely, we expect a moderate proportion of S2 and S3 clusters, and a low proportion of S4 and SS clusters, to represent cougar feeding sites. A secondary objective of the pilot study is to gather preliminary biological data regarding cougar prey utilization, primarily with respect 1o deer and elk. The secondary objective is most of ficiently accomplished by sampling S, clusters with greater intensity than other clusters. We therefore structured our sampling approach to allow adequate estimation of the proportion of clusters that are cougar feeding sites for each cluster set, while more intensively sampling Sr clusters than all others. With no previous evidence to indicate similarities among individuals bused on sex, age, or parental status, smnpling will be stratified by each individual puma. GPS collars will he downloaded once a month far each cougar and data will be analyzed through the clustering algorithm. Clusters wit{tin 2 weeks of the download date will he selected for the sampling frame, which will make the maximum time between the predation event and sampling about 1 month by the time field technicians can get to and assess evidence at each cluster site. Clusters will be randomly chosen from each selection set for each individual every month in the following manner: Sr = 2 clusters, SZ = 1 cluster, S: = 1 cluster, Sa =1 cluster and S; = 1 cluster. ~,s time allows, additional clusters can he sampled from the selection sets, which will be used as a validation data set. Our approach forces constant sampling of each cluster set over time regardless of the frequency of clusters within a given set. This will prevent a scenario where nearly all sampled clusters in a given month are from sets, S3, S, and/or SS (i. e., low probability of finding feeding sites). Our assessment of prey utilization depends on relatively constant detection of cougar feeding sites over time to avoid bias. l0 However, for each cluster set, the true proportion of clusters representing,feedingsttes may possibly change over time corresponding to changes in cougar use vffeeding sites. If the GPS download data indicate major changes inset-specifrc cluster frequencies ever the sampling period we may choose to use a proportional-allocation sampling approach in future years. Assuming a binomial distribution and 0.90 of Sr clusters represent cougar feeding sites, we will be able to estimate the true proportion with a 9S% confdence interval of 0.07. Assuming 0. S of S2 clusters represent cougar feeding sites, we will be able to estimate the true proportion with a 95% confidence interval of 0.17. Assu»tfng 0.3 of S3 clusters represent feeding sites, we will be able to estimate the true proportion with a 9S% confidence interval of 0.1 S. Finally, asswning 0.1 of S, and SSCltrsters represent feeding sites, we will he able to estimate the true proportion with a 95% confidence interval of 0.10. These precision levels represent 6 nwnths of sampling and are acceptable for the study. Finally, regarding our secondary objective of collecting preliminary prey use data, we should be able to estimate the overall proportion of feeding sites represented by deer (or the proportion offeeding sites represented by elk) with a 95% confide»ce interval of 0.05 (Anderson and Lindzey 2003, Logan 2005). We anticipate using the following strategy to initially detect clusters in the field For Sr clusters, we will go to each cougar GPS location in the cluster and visually inspect the immediate area for prey remains. We anticipate discovering prey remains at one or rnvre vf'the cluster points but if remains are not found, we will go to the central GPS location of the cluster and spiral out overlapping view~fields to a distance of SO m beyond the outermost GPS locative associated with the cluster. This should produce a thorough search and provide adequate information to judge whether or not a kill site was likely located with the cluster. For SZ through SS clusters, we will gv to each lion GPS location and spiral out 1 SO m around each point, and depending on vegetation type and density, spend a rttinimum of 1 hour and a maximum of l {tours per location point to judge whether the cluster is a kill site. We will also initiate attempt to quantify omission errors as tune allows. Location of Work: This work will be conducted along Colorado's front-range, in Boulder, Jefferson, Gilpin and Larimer counties. The study area is defined by the existing boundary for the ongoing cougar research project. Schedule of Work Time Activity February 2008, ongoing Initiate sampling of GPS location clusters for cougars August 2008, ongoing Summary report of findings Literature Cited: Ackerman, B.B., F.G. Lindzey, and T.P. liemker. 1984. Cougar food habits in southern Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management 48:147-155. Anderson, C.R., Jr. 2003. Cougar ecology, management and population genetics in Wyoming. Dissertation, Lnivcrsity of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, I;SA. I] Anderson, C. R., Jr., and F. G. Lindzey. 2003. Estimating cougar predation rates from GPS location clusters. Journal of Wildlife Management 67:307-316. Bergman, E.J., M. W. Alldredge, Logan, M. Schuette, C.J. Bishop, and D.J. Freddy. 2007. Program narrative study plan; pilot evaluation of predator-prey dynamics on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Pages 84-96, in Bergman, E.J. Evaluation of winter range habitat treatments on over-winter survival and body condition of mule deer. Wildlife Research Report, July: 73-96. Cougar Management Guidelines Working Group (2005) Cougar Management Guidelines, 1st edition. WildFutures, Bainbridge Island, V4'ashington, USA. Logan, K.A. 2005. Puma population structure an vital rates on the Uncompahgre Plateau, Colorado. Wildlife Research Report, .Iuly: 105-126. Colorado Division of Wildlife, E~ort Collins, USA. Murphy, K.M. 1998. The ecology of the cougar (Puma concolnr) in the northern Yellowstone ecosystem: interactions with prey, bears, and humans. Dissertation, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA. Subsection I11: Colorado Cougar Population Estimation: Need: In order to set harvest quotas, evaluate management practices and understand the dynamics of predator-prey systems, it is desirable to have reliable estimates of population size. Unfortunately, with many predators, it can be very difficult and expensive to obtain these estimates. This is especially true with cougars because oftheir low densities, secretive nature, and unpredictable response to lures. Most reliable estimates of population size for cougars have come from intensive capture and monitoring studies, which were expensive and time consuming (Logan 1983, Lindzey et al. 1994, Murphy 1998, Logan and Sweanor 2001). One approach that is used to estimate cougar population size is the two-sample Lincoln Petersen estimator in conjunction with an ongoing marking study (Anderson and Lindzey 2005). 1 towever, this method does require a marked population and is subject to all of the Lincoln-Petersen model assumptions, which include constant probability of capture among all individuals and time periods and closure (Williams et al. 2002). To demonstrate the logistics of using this estimator we will assume a cougar population at maximum density [3.6 independent cougars per 100kmz (I-topkins et al. 1986)]. If we survey an area of 1,000 km2 then our true population is 36. If we then assume a capture probability of 0.5 we should capture 18 individuals during each capture period and 27 unique individuals during both periods. To achieve capture of so many individuals during a time period when the closure assumption can be met, capture effort would be extremely high. E lowever, if alt of the assumptions were met, the expected value for the population size would be 36 cougars with a 95% CI oft 10.1 cougars or a range of 26 to 46 cougars. If we double our survey area to 2,UUOkmz and maintained all of the same assumptions we would capture 36 cougars during each sampling period or 54 unique individuals during the study. The expected values for this survey are a population size of 72 with a 95% CI oft 15.4 cougars or a range of 67 to 87 cougars. To improve these estimates it would be necessary to use multiple recapture occasions, which would require even greater effort and expense. Because of the difficulty and expense associated with typical mark-recapture techniques for estimating carnivore abundance, alternate techniques have been developed. Many of these techniques involve noninvasive genetic sampling, which is a type of mark-recapture sampling. Noninvasive genetic sampling (1-loss et al. 1992, Taberlet and Bouvet 1992) has the potential to provide a realistic method for sampling a population of interest. Noninvasive sampling techniques include the use of hair snares and scat collections (Ernest et al. 2000, Harrison et al. 2004, Smith et al. 2005). The use of scats for sampling cougar populations may be particularly useful and provide a representative sample of the population. Scat 12 collections can either be~ done by searching transects with human observers (Harrison et al. 2004) or with trained dogs (Smith et al. 2005). Scats could also be collected from kill sites. Although the use of scats for noninvasive genetic sampling may sound appealing, based on personal experience, the actual encounter rate of scats may be prohibitively low to make this a viable option. 1'he alternative approach would be to collect hair or tissue from cougars that are lured into a site. Although the use of hair snags and lures have proved effective on many species, such as bears, the technique has not been rigorously evaluated for cougars. Lures have been found relatively ineffective at luring cougars to a specific site, even when cougars are known to be inclose proximity (bong et al. 2003, Choate et al. 2006). The types of lures that have been tried are various scents, food sources, and animal calls. Having a significant number of cougars GPS collared in an area provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of lures, because we will be able to map the location of known individuals in relation to various lures and assess detection rates based on evidence found at lure sites. 'T'rack counts have also been used to assess cougar population trends (Smallwood and Fitzhugh 1991, 1995, Smallwood 1994, Cunningham et al. 1995), but actual relationships to population size are generally weak (Van Dyke et al. 1986, Van Sickle and Lindzey 1992). For example, Cunningham et al. (1995) failed to detect an estimated 33% decline in cougar abundance using track surveys. Based on computer simulations, sampling effort required to detect a change in cougar populations is very high (Beier and Cunningham 1996). Difficulty detecting tracks in dense vegetation or rocky slopes in conjunction with access limitations to some areas may limit the utility of this approach (Anderson 2003). Probability based sampling (Becker 1991) may be a useful alternative to sample snow tracks of cougars over large areas using aircraft (Van Sickle and I,indzcy 1992, Anderson 2003). Either transect based probability sampling (TPS) (Becker 1991) or a sampling block design (BT'S) (Becker et al. 1998) can be used, but Anderson (2003) found better accuracy and precision using the TPS approach adjusted for short track sets (cougars at kill sites with near zero probabilities of detection during the survey). Although Anderson (2003) found the probability based sampling technique to show promise for assessing cougar populations, his efforts were based on simulations from cougar movement data obtained from GPS collars. Therefore, further evaluation of the technique is warranted to determine if the technique will perform well in actual application. T'he evaluation should include further refinement of the TPS model based on GPS data from other collared cougars, and evaluation of detection probabilities of tracks in various habitat types and snow conditions. Both the front-range cougar project and the Uncompahgre Plateau cougar project provide unique opportunities for further evaluation of this technique. Choate et al. (2006) suggest that this method pcrfonns poorly in their evaluation, but this was based on a maximum sample size of 6 cougars wearing VFIF radio-collars, which is insufficient to evaluate this approach. Before undertaking a large area scale sampling approach, we will provide further details that define the sampling frame, sample units, accuracy verification techniques, and costs. Objectives: 1. Evaluate various lures (scents, baits, and calls) to attract cougars in relation to known cougar locations. 2. Further refine models for probability based sampling using CDOW GPS data sets of collared cougars. 3. Assess the detection rates of cougar tracks in snow using aircraft. Exaected Benefits: The ability to estimate population size or track population changes is critical to the management of a species, especially when harvest quotas are being set for that species. This study is designed to develop tools chat can be implemented in areas where cougars are not actively being studied and marked that will allow biologists/managers to gain a better idea of population size and population response to 13 management prescriptions. Such estimates, in conjunction with harvest data will allow managers to better understand the cougar populations they manage, set appropriate harvest quotas and defend our management actions to the public. Approach• Our intention with this portion of the study is to gain insight into the detection process in order to determine which approaches may prove useful to estimating population size. We have no intention of actually estimating population size until these various approaches have been evaluated. If any of these approaches demonstrate applicability for estimating population size a detailed study plan will be written for the specific method. In order to assess the probability of a cougar being attracted to a lure we will mimic the design of an actual population survey. In an actual population survey the area of interest would likely be sampled using a grid approach with a grid size equal to a quarter of the average home-range size (Otis et al. 1978, White et al. 1982, Williams et al. 2002). Within each grid a lure would be placed by randomly selecting a location that is deemed to be a likely place for the species to occur within the grid based on expert opinion. We will use a grid sire equivalent to one quarter of the average female home-range size, because females have significantly smaller home-range sizes than mates. This may create heterogeneity in the probability of detection between males and females because of the greater number of lures within a male's home-range and their larger movement patterns. For the purpose of evaluating the probability of a cougar being attracted to a lure we will not grid the entire study area but will grid individual properties on which we have permission to work. Within each grid we will randomly choose from a set of locations, previously identified by expert opinion, that should optimize our chances of luring a cougar to the location. We will randomly assign lure types (scent, call, etc.) at each location and provide food rewards on an alternating basis with the lure. Trail cameras will be set at each location to verify the presence of a cougar. These pictures will also provide information on how cougars react to various lures, which may provide useful inf'onnation on how to collect non-invasive genetic samples. The main variable of interest is the probability of detection given that an individual cougar was in the area. GPS information from collared cougars will be used to verify that a cougar was within the sampling grid. Location data will also be used to approximate distance between a cougar and a lure, which will be used as a covariate in estimating the detection rate. Non-detection rates will also be of interest, especially with regard to distance from the lure, as this will provide information on the ability of a lure to attract an individual. For example, an individual cougar may travel very close to a lure but never approach the lure. A repeated measures analysis will also be used to determine if there is any behavioral effect associated with reward versus non-reward lures. Cougars may avoid lures (calls or scents) after the first experience if no reward is provided, or conversely, approach lures more if a reward is provided. We will use GPS data from collared cougars to further refine TPS probability based sampling. GPS data will be used to examine movement patterns and daily movement distances to examine the probability of encountering tracks and the probability of encountering the same track set multiple times on a theoretical sampling transect. Simulations will be done to further refine the TPS model and the correction factor for short track sets. Simulations will also provide useful infonnation on the expected variance associated with the estimation of population size. We recognize that our study area, especially with private land issues, is too small to conduct a full TPS survey and acquire sufficient sample size to estimate N, but we can evaluate detection probabilities. Simulation can be used to examine track encounter rates but does not provide information on detection probabilities given that a track was encountered. "to evaluate detection rates, surveys will be flown and 14 detected tracks and their location will be recorded. Methodology and sampling layout of surveys will be refined and documented prior to conducting any actual aerial surveys. These data will then be compared to expected track encounters from GPS collar data to determine the probability of detecting a track set given that it is present. This can be evaluated with respect to habitat type, terrain feahires, and snow conditions. location of Work: This work will be conducted along (:olorado's front-range, in Boulder, Jefferson, Gilpin and I,arimer counties. The study area is defined by the existing boundary for the ongoing cougar research project. Schedule of Work 'l'ime Activity Fall, 2008, ongoing F•,valuation of lures & probability sampling August 2009, ongoing Summaryreport of findings Literature Cited: Anderson, C.R., Jr. 2003. Cougar ecolobry, management and population genetics in Wyoming. Dissertation, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA. Anderson, C.R., Jr., and F.G. Lindzey. 2005. Experimental evaluation of population trend and harvest composition in a Wyoming cougar population. Wildlife Society I3ullctin 33:179-188. Becker, E.F. 1991. A terrestrial furbearer estimator based on probability sampling. Journal of Wildlife Management 55:730-737. Becker, E.F., M.A. Spindler, and T.O. Osborne. 1998. A population estimator based on network sampling of'tracks in the snow. Journal of Wildlife Management 62:968-977. Beier, P., and S.C. Cunningham. 1996. Power of track surveys to detect changes in cougar populations. Wildlife Society Bulletin 24:540-546. Choate, D.M., M.L. Wolfe, and D.C. Stoner. 2006. Evaluation of cougar population estimators in Utah. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:782798. Cunningham, S.C., L.A. I Iaynes, C. Gustavson, and D.D. Haywood. 1995. Evaluation of the interaction between mountain lions and cattle in the Aravaipa-Klondyke area of southeast Arizona. Arizona Game and Fish Departcnent Technical Report No. 17, Phoenix, Arizona, tJSA. Ernest, H. B., M. C. 'I'. Penedo, B. P. May, M. Syvanen, and W. M. Boyce. 2000. Molecular tracking of mountain lions in the Yosemite Valley region in California: genetic analysis using microsatellites and faecal DNA. Molecular Ecology 9:433-441. Harrison, R. L., P. B. S. Clarke, and C. M. Clarke. 2004. Indexing swift fox populations in New Mexico using scats. American Midtand Naturalist 151:42-49. Hopkins, R.A., M.J. Kutilek, and G.L. Shreve. 1986. The density and home-range characteristics of cougars in the Diablo Range of California. Pages 223-235, in S.D. Miller and D.D. Everett, editors. Cats of the world: Biology, Conservation and Management. National Wildlife Federation, Washington, U.C., USA. Hoss, M., M. Kohn, S. Paabo, F. Knauer, and W. Schroder. 1992. Excrement analysis by PCR. Nature 359:199. Lindzey, F.G., W.D. Vansickle, B.B. Ackerman, D. Barnhurst, T.P. Hemker, and S.P. Laing. 1994. Cougar population dynamics in southern Utah. Joumal of Wildlife Management 58:619-624. Logan, K.A. 1983. Mountain lion population and habitat characteristics in the Big 1-torn Mountains of Wyoming. Thesis, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA. IS Logan, K.A. and L.I. Sweanor. 2001. Desert puma: evolutionary ecology and conservation of an enduring carnivore. Island Press, Washington, U.C. Long, E.S., U.M. Fecske, R.A. Sweitzer, J.A. Jenks, B.M. Pierce, and V.C. Bleich. 2003. Efficacy of photographic scent stations to detect mountain lions. Western North American Naturalist 63:529- 532. Murphy, K.M. 1998. The ecology of the cougar (Puma concolor) in the northern Yellowstone ecosystem: interactions with prey, bears, and humans. Dissertation, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA. Otis, D.L., K.P. Burnham, G.C. White, and D.R. Anderson. 1978. Statistical inference from capture data on closed animal populations. Wildlife Monographs 62:1-135. Smallwood, K.S. 1994. "Trends in California mountain lion populations. Southwestern Naturalist 39:67- 72. Smallwood, K.S., and E.L. Fitzhugh. 1.991. The use of track counts for mountain lion population census. Pages 59-67 in C.E. Braun, editor, Mountain Lion-Human Interactions Symposium and Workshop. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver, Colorado, USA. Smallwood, K.S., and E.L. I~ itzhugh. 1995. A track count for estimating mountain lion Fells concolor californica population trend. Biological Conservation 71:251-259. Smith, D. A., K. Ralls, B. L. Cypher, and J. E. Maldonado. 2005. Assessment ofscat-detection dog surveys to determine kit fox distribution. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33:897-904. Taberlet, P., and J. Bouvet. 1992. Bear conservation genetics. Nature 358:197. Van Dyke, F.G., R.H. 8rocke, and H.G. Shaw. 1986. Use of road track counts as indices of mountain lion presence. Journal of Wildlife Management 50:102-109. Van Sickle, W.D., and F.G. Lindzey. 1992. Evaluation of road track surveys for cougars (Fells concolor). Great Basin Naturalist 52:232-236. White, G.C., D.R. Anderson, K.P. Burnham, and D.L. Otis. 1982. Capture-recapture removal methods for sampling closed populations. Los Alamos National I.,aboratory Publication LA-8787-NERP. Los Alamos, NM. Williams, B.K., J.D. Nichols and M.J. Conroy. (2002) Analysis and Management of Animal Populations. Academic Press. San Diego, CA. Subsection IV: Evaluation of Cougar Response to Aversive Conditioning Techniques: Need: Although cougar attacks on humans are rare (CMGWG 2005), they have increased in recent decades. From 1890 to i 990 there were a documented 9 fatal attacks and S4 non-fatal attacks on humans in the United States and Canada (Beier 1991, Fitzhugh et al. 2003). Seven fatal and 38 non-fatal attacks on humans occurred following Beier's 1991 publication and Fitzhugh et al.'s 2003 publication. Cougar attack rates on the front-range oI'Colorado have been estimated at one in every 2.2 million person-days. `['he increase in attacks also corresponds to a large increase in human-cougar incidents, which are likely due to habitat reduction, human encroachment, increased human recreational activities, and possible increases in cougar populations (CMGWG 2005). Torres et al. (1996) found no differences associated with gender of cougar in the likelihood of a cougar attack on humans. However, Ruth (199]) did find that sub-adults were the age group most likely to interact with humans. The CMGWG (2005) found that a combination of inexperience and unfamiliarity with their environment, as well as hunger, may cause young cougars to have more negative interactions with humans. CDOW wildlife managers are faced with decisions about how to manage cougar populations and individual cougars in order to maintain viable populations and maintain acceptable levels of human safety. Defining acceptable levels of human safety is difficult because people's perceptions are different when interactions do not directly affect them. In the 2005 public opinions survey, only 44% of 16 respondents felt it acceptable to destroy a cougar that attacks and injures or kills a person that is recreating in cougar habitat, while 49% found eliminating the cougar unacceptable (CDOW, unpublished data, Corona Research, Apri12006). Other difficulties associated with managing cougar populations in areas with high levels of human interaction are caused by the limited amount of information that is currently known about cougars in these exurban situations and responses of cougars to management prescriptions (CMGWG 2005). There is a growing voice from the public that CDOW do more to mitigate potential conflicts (CMGWG 2005), and the Director of CDOW has requested that research efforts be conducted to help minimize future human/cougar conflicts. In order to meet these goals CROW believes we need to directly test management prescriptions in terms of desired levels of individual cougar responses and cougar population responses. Long-term study objectives for the Front-Range Cougar Research project will involve directly testing management responses of cougars at various levels of human interaction. The CMGWG (2005) recommend that part of determining the level of interaction or risk between cougars and humans is to evaluate cougar behavior on a spectrum from natural, to habituated, to overly familiar, to nuisance, to dangerous. These categories are defined as (CMGWG 2005): Habituated-frequent use of developed area and cougars appear comfortable in the presence of humans. Overly familiar--a cougar purposefully approaches a human, or allows a human to approach it after the cougar has seen the human. Nuisance-cougar exhibits overly familiar behaviors more than once. Dangerous-displayed non-defensive aggression towards humans (postures, vocalizations, and actions communicating an intent to harm). Note that aggressive behaviors could also be defensive if the cougar perceives the human as a threat to itself; its young, or a food source, or if the cougar is surprised or harassed by humans. "fhe CMGWG (2005) describes cougar behaviors and the level of risk to humans as perceived by the authors (Appendix 1, Table 1). We have added an additional column that categorizes the level of risk, which will be used to determine management treatments that will be applied during research efforts. Although cougars may habituate to human developments and activities (lZuth 1991), both habituated and non-habituated cougars may experiment with humans as potential prey (Anne 1991 'I~he CMGWG (2005) clearly state that there is no scientific evidence to indicate that cougar habituation to humans affects the risk of attack. Clearly, cougars representing a danger to human health and safety should be removed, but the appropriate response to cougars that are overly familiar or habituated to humans is unclear. Lethal control is losing public support (Reiter et al. 1999) so other options need to be examined. Shivik and Martin (2000) emphasize the need to research and determine effective nonlethal control techniques, or managers risk losing credibility with the public. 'T'here have been no studies confirming the effectiveness of aversive conditioning (CMGWG 2005). Beier (1991) describes two unsuccessful attempts at aversive conditioning (one shot with rock salt, one treed and collared), however, one of these was already exhibiting aggressive behavior and the other was in poor condition. McBride et al. (2005), used hound capture, and subsequent hound chases as a form of aversive conditioning on 4 Florida panthers with some degree of success. 17 Studying individual and population level responses of cougars will require capturing and radio- collaring cougars, as well as standardizing responses of CROW personnel to human/cougar interactions. In doing this we will be able to develop a series of comparable case histories that can demonstrate effective methods for dealing with cougars interacting with humans. The CDOW responds to all reported incidents between cougars and humans, including cougar interactions with livestock and pets. An incident could range from a person seeing a cougar while hiking on open-space lands to a cougar acting aggressively towards a human or even attacking a human. CDOW wildlife managers respond to these incidents under the guidelines of CDOW directive W-20. These guidelines give the responding manager and their supervisor a great deal of latitude in assessing the situation and the method of dealing with the incident. The responding managers must assess the situation with regard to: 1) Type of interaction (nuisance, depredating or dangerous). 2) Cougar behavior. 3) Cougar status (age, sex, and health). 4) Cougar history (first time offense versus repeat behavior). 5) Location. 6) Public safety. Based on this assessment, the responding wildlife managers must decide on the best course of action, which takes into consideration htrman safety and conservation of the cougar population. A wildlife manager can take the following actions: l) No management action toward the cougar, combined with education efforts for reporting party(s) and community, as appropriate. 2} Deterrent methods, combined with education efforts. 3) Aversive conditioning of cougar combined with education efforts f'or reporting party(s) and affected community (non-lethal projectiles, pepper spray, hounds). 4) Immobilization and relocation. 5) Capture through pursuit or trapping, and relocation. 6) Killing the cougar. A primary objective of this study is to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of aversive conditioning techniques on cougars within urban/exurban areas, including use of hounds, rubber bullets, beanbag bullets and pepper spray fired from a shotgun. In conjunction with this, relocation will generally be part of the treatment as this will be a required management action when the cougar is located within neighborhoods. Additionally we do not want to chase a cougar from one neighborhood to another. Treatments will be applied in a manner that is consistent with management options so that wildlife managers will be able to implement these techniques without the aid of telemetry. Making this assessment of aversive conditioning techniques will provide crucial information for developing long-term management prescriptions for dealing with cougars interacting with humans and possibly preventing habituation to humans. Objectives: 1. Assess the effectiveness of various methods of aversive conditioning in terms of decreased use of urban areas and future incident rates. 2. Statistically test the effectiveness of the methods identified from the first objective. Expected Benefits: An assessment of aversive conditioning techniques will provide future guidance for wildlife rnanagcrs in dealing with cougar-human conflicts. Understanding the likely response of a cougar to a management treatment will help managers choose the right response to a particular situation. This will 18 also give us credibility with the public with regard to the management actions chosen for a particular event, because we will have some understanding of the long-term effects on the cougar's future behavior and not just ashort-term solution to an incident that may be repeated. A_ pproach: Collared cougars caught as part of the overall study, not as incident cougars, will be incorporated into the aversive conditioning treatments as they are reported as interacting with humans, or as they demonstrate selection for urban areas that can be viewed as potential habituation. Collared cougars that travel through urban areas and/or occasionally kill naturally occurring prey items will not be viewed as problem cougars and will not be included in aversive conditioning treatments. Additional cougars for aversive conditioning treatments will be obtained from actual reported cougar-human interactions. [n general, these will not include cougars that are reported to have killed naturally occurring prey items on private properties resembling fete naturally occurring environment. These cougars will be individuals involved in human-interactions that would typically result in management actions resembling aversive conditioning treatments, such as hazing or relocation. All such management level cougars will be collared and treated for this portion of the study. At this time, we consider aversive conditioning treatments on cougars to potentially be: multiple captures and handling of cougars, single or multiple treatments using rubber buckshot fired from a shotgun, single or multiple chases using hounds, and potential combinations of capture, hound chases, and rubber buckshot. Initially, we want to assess situations and methods that are already being implemented by wildlife managers. The most likely scenario are incidents occurring in neighborhoods, where relocating the cougar is necessary prior to any application of an aversive conditioning treatment. For these situations, all treatments will require the relocation of the offending individual to an adjacent open-space property or similar area. Following relocation we will either chase the cougar off using rubber bullets or beanbag rounds, pepper spray, or hounds. For first time offenders we will initially try rubber bullets or beanbag rounds. Second time offenders will be chased with hounds. If rubber bullets or beanbag rounds are not afTccting cougar behavior, we will begin using pepper spray on first time offenders. The other scenario that will occur are incidents in areas where a cougar can be directly conditioned or chased from the area. We will mimic the above approach as much as possible, and use rubber bullets or beanbag rounds on first time offenders. If possible we will chase individuals with hounds on their second offense, although this may not always be practical. Pepper spray may not be practical either in many situations. As a second level treatment where direct hound chases are not practical, we will attempt to capture, relocate, and aversive condition the individual. To this point these efforts will be primarily observational. Once we have determined a method that routinely elicits the desired response we will focus on that method to achieve a statistically valid sample size. Response variables would be, future incident rates following aversive coriditiorting and change in use patterns associated with urban areas. However, this may take several years to accomplish. To demonstrate required sample sizes we leave run a detailed simulation of the potential human interaction and aversive conditioning phase of the study in order to obtain expected values and standard errors for a hypothetical sample of 20 collared cougars or 16 collared cougars that interact with humans at a level requiring management actions. Very little information about the study objectives is known, such as human-cougar interaction rates and variability and effectiveness of aversive conditioning, therefore many assumptions must be made to conduct any kind of power analysis. The assumptions arc as follows: 1. 80% of all cougars in the study area will interact negatively with humans. 19 2. All cougars behave and respond the same to the urban environment and aversive conditioning (i.e. no sex or age effects). 3. 25% of cougars that have a negative interaction with humans are not habituated to urban environments and will not interact with humans again. The remaining portion of the population (75`%) will leave additional negative interactions following the first interaction. 4. Aversive conditioning is 50% effective, so that half of the treatment group (on average) will not interact with humans following the aversive treatment. Based on these assumptions we would expect 16 of the 20 collared cougars to interact negatively with humans. I~ollowing the first negative interaction, half of the cougars would be placed in a control group and half in a treatment group, giving an expected 8 cougars in each group. No aversive conditioning would be applied to the control group, while aversive conditioning (chased by hounds and/or shot with bean bags) would be applied to all of the treatment animals. Based on our assumptions we would expect 6 of the control animals to continue to interact negatively with humans and 3 of the treatment animals to continue negative human interactions. Using these assumptions we simulated the aversive conditioning process 1000 times, assuming a binomial process (success-failure) and only 1 aversive conditioning attempt. The average number of control and treatment cougars from the simulations was 812 cougars each with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 in each group. The average number of control cougars that continued to have negative human interactions was 5.84.06, with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 10. The average number of treatment animals that continued to have negative interactions was 2.813.81, with a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 7. Given these results it will be necessary to maximize our sample size and take every opportunity to include cougars into the aversive conditioning portion of the study. Location of Work: "Phis work will be conducted along Colorado's front-range, in Boulder, .lefferson, Gilpin and Larimer counties. The study area is defined by the existing boundary for the ongoing cougar research project, but will likely include incident cougars in the southern portion of Jefferson County as well. Schedule of Work Time Activity fall, 2007, ongoing Begin treating cougars involved in human incidents August 2008. onl:~ing Summary report of findines Literature Cited: Aurae, K. E. 1991. Increasing cougar populations and human-cougar interactions in Montana. Pages 86- 94 rn C. h;. Braun, editor. Cougar-human interactions: Symposium and Workshop. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver, Colorado, USA. Beier, 1'. 1991. Cougar attacks on humans in the United States and Canada. Wildlife Society Bulletin 19:403-412. Cougar Management Guidelines Working Group (2005) Cougar Management Guidelines, 1st edition. WildFuhrres, Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA. 1~ ithzugh, ti. I.,., M. W. Kenyon, and K. titling. 2003 Lessening the impact of a cougar attack on a human in Proceedings of'tlie Seventh Cougar Workshop, Jackson, Wyoming, USA. McBride, R., D. K. Jansen, R. McBride, and S. R. Schulze. 2005. Aversive conditioning of Florida panthers by combining painful experiences with instinctively threatening sounds. Proceedings of the 8`h Mountain Lion Workshop, Page 136. 20 Reiter, D. K., M. W. Brunson, and R. H. Schmidt. 1999. Public attitudes toward wildlife damage management and policy. Wildlife Society ButIetin 27:746-758. Ruth, T. K. 1991. Cougar use in an area of high recreational development in Big BendNatinal Park, Texas. Thesis, Texas A&M university, College Station, Texas, USA. Shivik, J. A. and D. J. Martin. 2000. Aversive and disruptive stimulus applications for managing predation. The 9~' Wildlife Damage Management Conference Proceedings 9:1 I 1-119. Torres, S. G., T. M. Mansfield, J. F,. Foley, T. Lupo, and A. Brinkhaus. 1996. Mountain lion and human activity in California: testing speculations. Wildlife Society Bulletin 24:451-460. Subsection V: Evaluation of Cougar Relocation: Need: Relocation of "problem" animals is a technique that has been attempted with many carnivore species, including bears, wolves, lynx, coyotes, and cougars. Relocation of carnivores as a management technique for "nuisance" animals needs further evaluation as public opposition to lethal control of carnivores increases (Linnell et al. 1997). However, the efficacy of relocating animals exhibiting undesirable behaviors is questionable. Problems with this technique are that we may just be moving problcrn animals to another area, the relocated animal may return to t11e initial area, the individual may not survive, or may kill resident animals in the new area. Relocation has been used and evaluated with several carnivore species and has had mixed results. Bears are the most frequently relocated carnivore for nuisance or problem behaviors (Bowyer and Brown 1988, Smith and Clark 1994, Comly and Vaughan 1996). Relocation of nuisance bears may not be effective because of high return rates (Brannon 1987, Blanchard and Knight 1995, Anderson et al. 2002). Younger bears generally have weaker homing instincts to the original location than older bears (Rogers 1986). Although relocation is commonly used for feuds there is little data to document the effectiveness of the technique (Linnell et al. 1997). Leopards (Panthera pardus) historically were relocated in response to livestock depredation but this technique was abandoned after small sca]e studies demonstrated that leopards continued to depredate livestock (Cobb 1981, Norton 1986, Ebedes 1970). Relocation studies for lions (Panthera leo) have demonstrated that lions tend to continue problem behaviors in the original areas or alternate areas near release sites (Van der Meulen 1977, Slander 1990). There is also a paucity of information on relocation success for cougars. The information that does exist suggests that relocation distances should be large (Ruth et al. 1998) and that survival may be low (Ross and Jalkotzy 1995, Ruth et al. 1998). The best information on relocation of cougars comes from Ruth et al. (I 998), where 14 cougars were relocated an average distance of 477 km. Two of the male cougars returned to their original home-range. Survival rates of translocated cougars were lower than those in the source population. Average distance traveled following release was 118 km for females and 218 km for males. Young (12 to 27 months old) cougars moved an average distance of 40 km, while older (28 to 96 months old) cougars moved an average distance of 248 km. Although original movement directions from the release site were random, long-term movements and settling locations were generally towards the source location. Ross and Jalkotzy (1995), proposed relocation of nuisance cougars, especially for subadults, because the 3 cougars that they relocated within 51 km of their home-ranges did not return. Many cougar biologists view relocation as an ineffective method of dealing with cougar-human conflict (CMGWG 2005). However, relocation of cougars involved in a human interaction is an available management response for CDOW managers given in CDOW Directive W-20, and is a technique that is 21 commonly implemented. Therefore, it is critical to rigorously assess the effectiveness of relocation. This assessment should involve determining the survival and return rates of the relocated individual, subsequent incident behavior of the individual should the cougar remain in the translocated area, as well as responses of the cougar populations in the areas where the cougar was taken from and placed into. 'Phis assessment will allow managers to judge if relocation is a method that should be continued and will give CDOW credibility with the public in terms of maintaining human safety and also practicing the "best" wildlife management techniques. There are many factors that will influence relocation success for nuisance cougars. Site specific factors include distance from the original home-range, habitat quality, prey availability, local conspecific density, and potential for fixture human incident conflict. Individual specific factors include sex, age, health and propensity for the nuisance behavior. Individuals that are first time offenders or that rarely use areas with high potential for conflict may be less likely to repeat the behavior than individuals that have learned and repeated the undesirable behavior, Ry carefully considering these factors, wildlife managers may increase the probability of a successful relocation for an individual cougar. Many of the factors associated with a successful relocation, especially those related to the individual, cannot be controlled. However, site specific factors can be controlled and releases of conflict animals can be conducted at sites that meet all of the factors that will promote the successful resolution of the problem without the destruction of the animal. Most of the factors can be met based on the good judgment of the manager, but there is not any reliable information on appropriate release distance from the original home-range. "Therefore, it is important to evaluate release distance in a rigorous manner with respect to individual factors such as sex, age, health, and history of conflict. Large carnivores have repeatedly demonstrated homing ability, even over large distances (at least 400km) (Linnell et al. 1997), so there may be a learning process for individuals being relocated. It may be necessary to relocate animals several times before they abandon their original home-range and settle in amore desirable area. At some point this will become unrealistic because of the expense but should be evaluated as a potential option for individuals involved in low level conflicts with humans. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate relocation distance with respect to individual factors to determine relocation success. Relocation success will be measured with respect to return rates, survival and recidivism. Relocation is an option that is used by Colorado wildlife managers for conflict resolution, partly because of public objection to the destruction of animals, and therefore should be evaluated to maximize future success. This can be done at little additional expense and without additional disturbance to the cougar population as study animals will be those already being handled for management/conflict reasons. Obiectives• 1. Evaluate relocation success for cougars involved in management related relocations. a. Further quantify relocation success by sex andlor age classes. b. Further quantify relocation failures in terms of return rates, mortality rates, and recidivism rates. 2. Quantify post-release movement distances and directions. 3. Evaluate the potential for multiple relocations of cougars that return following initial relocation efforts. 4. Evaluate relocation expense relative to relocation success. Expected Benefits: A critical evaluation of relocation success and relocation distance will provide the CllOW with information necessary to make management decisions on cougars involved with human conflicts. These decisions include the choice between relocation and euthanasia, and the decision on where to relocate the offending animal I laving such information will allow the CDOW to defend future management decisions regarding cougar-human conflicts. Approach• Capture, handling and relocation: Cougars will only be relocated for management purposes, generally in conjunction with human conflict or livestock depredation. Research cougars that have been collared for other purposes of the study may also become part of the relocation group if their levels of human interaction warrant such a management action. In May, 2008, two research cougars were relocated approximately 30km after they retunied to the city of Boulder. Because only a few cougars are relocated each year, we will collar and monitor all cougars that are relocated in the northeast region. All captures will follow the procedures outlined in Appendix II and will likely involve cage trapping but may include the use of hounds, snares, or free-range darting. In many situations captures will be conducted by the local DWM or other responding officer, because this is a management action. At time of capture an assessment of animal condition, age, sex, weight, and other morphomctric measurements will be made. Cougars will also be ear-tagged and fitted with a telemetry collar {VHF, or GPS collars may be used depending on the situation). Release area is critical to the success of any relocation, however, suitable relocation areas may be difficult to find. Such an area must be far enough from the problem area, have suitable prey, and be remote enough so that the individual will not be presented with problem opportunities at or near the release site. Understanding the minimum release distance that has a reasonable chance for relocation success is useful for both logistical reasons and to increase the number of potential release sites. Subadult cougars may have the best chance for relocation success following a human interaction because they may not have as much experience with these undesirable behaviors and may not have strong fidelity to an area. Therefore, subadult cougars will be relocated 30 to 80 km (straight-line distance} from the incident location. Adults likely have stronger site fidelity, and, therefore, wilt be moved 80 to 150 km from the incident location. Cougars that have been relocated and return to the area or repeat problem behaviors will be evaluated for the potential of subsequent relocation attempts. Following a release, cougars will be monitored weekly with VHF telemetry for survival and general movement patterns. More detailed movement patterns will be obtained when GPS collars are implemented. Monitoring will be conducted for at least one year to determine the fate of an individual and the settling location. tndividuals that have established ahome-range and have not repeated problem behaviors will not be monitored after one year. Analysis: General movement patterns and relocation success will be assessed with simple point estimates. Assessment of movement patterns will include average distance moved following release and randomness of movement direction following release. The simplest analysis of'success will be defined as an animal that survives and does not repeat the problem behavior. This is a binomial response in terms of success or failure. A simple assessment of the variance associated with a binomial experiment demonstrates that at a minimum 25 relocation trials will be required to achieve a SE < 0.1(Figure 2). Further assessment can be done to determine the mode of relocation failure, but the precision on these estimates will be poor. It is also likely that sex and age class will be an important factor in assessing relocation success, which will reduce the precision of our estimates further. Clearly, it will take a number of years to obtain the necessary sample size for this experiment. 23 Location of Work: Because of sample size requirements and the small number of cougars that are relocated each year, the entit•e northeast region will be incorporated in this part of the study. Primarily this includes Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, and Gilpin counties. Release locations may extend into other regions of the state, especially for adults, to meet distance requirements and provide quality release sites. Schedule of Work: Two relocation attempts have already been conducted in May 2007 as part of the ongoing pilot study and this work is projected to continue for a minimum of 5 years. Time Activity May 2008, ongoing Relocate cougars associated with human interactions August 2008, on oink; Summary report of findings Literature Cited: Anderson, C.R., Jr., M.A. Ternent, and D.S. Moody. 2002. Grizzly bear-cattle interaction on two grazing allotments in northwest Wyoming. Ursus 13:247-256. Blanchard, B.M. and R.R. Knight. 1995. Biological consequences of relocating grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Journal of Wildlife Management 59:560-565. Brannon, R.D. 1987. Nuisance grizzly bear, IJrsars arctos, translocation in the Greater Yellowstone Region. Canadian Field Naturalist 101:569-575. Bowyer, R.T, and R.D. Brown. 1988. Translocation of animals in Alaska. Pages 10-20 in L. Nielson, and R.D. Brown eds. Translocation of Wild Animals. Wisconsin: Wisconsin Humane Society. Cobb, S. 1981. The leopard-problems of an overabundant, threatened, terrestrial carnivore. Pages 181- 192 in P.A. Jewell and S. Holt eds., Problems in Management of Locally Abundant Wild Animals. Academic Press, London. Comly, L.M. and M.R. Vaughan. 1994. Survival and reproduction of translocated Virginia black bears. International Conference Bear Research and Management 9:428-437. Cougar Management Guidelines Working Group (2005) Cougar Management Guidelines, 1st editon. WildFutures, Bainbridge Island, Washin~non, USA. Ebedes, H. 1970. Z'he use of Sernylan as an immobilizing agent and anaesthetic for wild carnivorous mammals in South West Africa. Madoqua 2:19-25. Linnell, J.D.C., R. Hanes, J.E. Swenson, J. Odden, and M.E. Smith. 1997. Translocation of carnivores as a method for managing problem animals: a review. Biodiversity and Conservation 6:1245-1257. Norton, P.M. 1986. Ecology and conservation of the leopard in the mountains of the Cape Province. Cape Department of Nature and Environmental Conservation. Rogers, L.L. 1986 Effects of translocation distance on frequency of return by adult black bears. Wildlife Society Bulletin 14:76-80. Ross, P. 1. and M. G. Jalkotzy. 1995. Fates of translocated cougars, Felis concolar, in Alberta. Canadian Field-Naturalist 109:475-476. Ruth, 'I'. K., K. A. Logan, L. L. Sweanor, M. G. Hornocker, and L. J. Temple. 1998. Evaluating cougar translocation in New Mexico. Journal of Wildlife Management 62:1264-1275 Smith, K.G. and J.D. Clark. 1994. Black bears in Arkansas: characteristics of a successful translocation. Journal of Mammalogy 75:309-320. Stander, P.E. 1990. A suggested management strategy for stock raiding lions in Namibia. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 20:37-43. Van der Meulen, J.H. 1977. Notes on the capture and translocation of stock raiding lions in northeastern and northwestern Rhodesia. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 7:15-17. 24 Figure I . Front-range cougar study area showing property ownership. y 3~ti rs '_.P,'1~ Legend o-_ ~ ~ ~ ,~-•'y,° a _ ~ , ~ NRELCoMap FR ~ - ft~ . ~,<allothervalues> ~>a ~ ~ ~ „ ~ ~ Reclass ' .t • ~-~e`O M 6 -Boulder City y Lon 110I1t ,t. _ o t~` -Boulder City Open Space sr n ~ - ~ , ~ Boulder Citp Parks , : ~ ` ~ ' _ - ~Ir -Boulder County t.~,, ~r t - Boulder County Open Space .Yrr-' . ' ~ ~ ti ~ Boulder CountylCdy Open Space ~ ~~,~~~~~f9fr ~lQ~ el(~ • rt,~tle _ ~ ~ Jefferson County v o. ~ ` ...~r , ~ ~ ~ Jefferson County Open Space - ~ ~,,~'L- ~;j~ - ~ ' ~ - , ~ r" ~ ~ ~ -Joint BLM State ~'r~~~,'~"„'• = ! i ~ • , Private . i ' ~ L~~~ •Fr ' -Public i ` ;t; j,~ - ea,'`•~l(i~l _ Public-City ~T _ Public-City r~~ . •~tC~,~1~1n ~~11•~n~$ 'Golden ~ ~ Public- County • ! ` o _ _ Public - FWS > f " Cx~fleSeie ti ~ _ Public- Federal Ji~s = Public- PJPS -:ma Ft'ergr~Ii _ u_ - - -Public -State o , ~ ' ~ , _ Public- USFS y ~ ~ r~ ,~-I~I,ghlan~ts,Ranch's~ 25 figure 2: Standard error (SE) for binomial distribution. 06 , 0.5 - oa ~ ~--SE(p =0 7) 0.2 i i L _ . - „ O . 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 2S 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 N 26 Appendix I COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE PROTOCOLS FOR FRONT-RANGE COUGAR PILOT RESEARCH PROJECT Public safety will he the fundamental issue guiding decisions on how to respond to and manage human interactions involving cougars radio-collared for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CUOW) Front-Range cougar research project. CROW Administrative Directive W-20 will serve as a basic guideline for managing cougar incidents. These protocols amend Administrative Directive W-20 and provide guidance specific to the Front-Range cougar research project. Human safety will not be compromised for research purposes; original guidelines in Directive W- 20 will be explicitly followed for cougar-human interactions defined as `Level D-Attack' in W- 20. These amendments allow additional flexibility and options for managing lower level cougar- human interactions as part of the research and rnanagernent evaluation process. Under the management guidelines of Directive W-20, section C, it is specified that any cougar that is tranquilized, handled and released by the Division under the authority of W-20 will be ear- tagged with the appropriate color tag for that regivn, and will be tattooed on the inside of the ear prior to release. All cougars captured for research purposes will also be ear-tagged with the appropriate color for the region using a tag code starting with an R followed by a three digit number. Cougars will only he tattooed on the inside of the ear if they would have been tranquilized, handled and released by the division under the authority of W-20 regardless of the associated research project. If tattooing does occur, the tattoo will match the code used on the ear-tag. The purpose of the Front-range cougar project is to expand our understanding of how to better manage cougar-human interactions within the expanding suburban-rural human environment so that we can sustain both the existence of cougars and ensure public safety. For this study to succeed we must capture and radio-collar cougars that live in or near the suburban-rural environment to acquire basic information on cougar movements and prey selection and the potential for cougars to interact with humans. An inherent risk is that some radio-collared cougars will, at some point in time, likely interact to some degree with humans. These management protocols will provide CDOW managers and researchers an initial menu of choices to consistently guide decisions involving interactions between radio-collared cougars and humans. Cougars will be radio-collared by capturing cougars during planned and systematic efforts or opportunistically during low-level human-interaction circumstances. Protocols address 5 major topics: A) radio-collared cougars, B) project communications, C) research data, D) external media, and E) cooperators awareness of ongoing proposed project protocols and study plan. These protocols will be a `living document' that will evolve as the research project progresses with the input of field managers and researchers. Changes to the protocols will occur through informed discussions among CUOW managers and scheduled as needed as the research project unfolds or objectives are modified. 27 A. INTERNAL CnOW PROTOCOLS FOR MANAGING FRONT-RANGE RESEARCH RADIO-COLLAKED COLLARS a. Cougar-Human Interaction Levels Interactions involving radio-collared cougars and humans will span a potential range from benign to dangerous as depicted in the diagram below (Levels I - V). IL Cougar sighted by public Ill. Cougar seen by public or L.Cougar not seen, or or passes near human passes near human infrastructure detected, by public, nor infrastnrcture but no level of with some low level of near human dwellings or interaction between cougar interaction between cougar and infrastructure. and humans and not perceived humans but no threatening as a safety concern. behavior documented. IV. Cougar seen by public or V. Cougar seen by public or passes near human passes near human infrastructure with a level of infrastructure with a Level of interaction between cougar and interaction between cougar and humans reasonably considered humans considered to be to be threatening to humans. dangerous to humans. Defining the risk to humans that could be associated with observed cougar behaviors is difficult. We relied on the interpretations of cougar behavior as outlined in the Cougar Management Guidelines and adapted these interpreted levels of risk to our cougar-human interaction Levels 1 - 5 (Table 1). Interpretations of cougar behavior would be highly dependent on the observer's skills and experience and the skills and experience of CDOW personnel who would interview the person who had the interaction with the cougar. In threatening or dangerous interactions (Levels 4 and 5), investigating personnel would attempt to determine whether the cougar was defending an animal carcass, kill site, den site, or young. 28 Table 1. Interpretations of cougar behaviors occurring during cougar-human interactions in order of increasing risk to humans. Columns I-3, eYCCpt for `Attack" behavior, were copied from the `Cougar Management Guidelines Working Group, 2005, Wild Futures Press' while column 4 re resents Levels of Interaction as defined for these Front-ran re Cougar ro'cct rotocols. Human Observation of Interpretation of Level of Likely Front-Range Cougar Cou ar Behavior Cou ar Behavior Human Risk Risk Cate orv Cougar opportunistically Secretive Low Non-threatening, viewed at a distance Level 2 Cougar [light or hiding Avoidance Low Non-threatening, Leve12 or 3 Cougar lack of attention, Indifference or Low Non-threatening, various movements not actively avoiding Leve12 or 3 directed towards erson. inducin a ression Cougar has various body Curiosity Low, provided human Non-threatening to positions, ears up, may be response is appropriate threatening, Level 3 shifting positions, intent or 4 attention. followin behavior Intense staring, following and Assessing success of Moderate Threatening, Level 4 hidin behavior attack Hissing, snarling, vocalization Defensive behaviors, Moderate depending Threatening, Level 4 attack may be on distance between imminent human and cougar Crouching, tail twitching, Pre-attack High Dangerous, Level 5 intense staring, ears flattened like wings, body low to mound, head may be u Fars flat, fur out, tail twitching, Imminent attack Very High and Dangerous, Level 5 body and head low to ground, Immediate rear le s " um in " Cougar attempts to or actually Attack Extremely High Dangerous, Level 5 strikes, claws, or physically comes into contact with human. An indirect interaction between humans and cougars involves cougars and domestic pets or livestock and such interactions do occur along the front-range. 'there is the possibility that pet- cougarinteractions may be a signal that a cougar may be inclined to eventually become involved in a cougar-human interaction. Similar to cougar-httman interactions, we propose a gradient of • cougar-pet/livestock interactions that would be assessed relative to the risk of these cougar behaviors to humans ('fable 2). Key distinctions among cougar-pet/livestock interactions are whether the incident happened in an open space area and `off-leash', within a confined area such as a fenced yard, within anima(/livestock holding pen, or while the pet/livestock was on leash/halter and accompanied by a human. Definitions of domestic pet and domestic livestock will follow guidelines established for W-20. 29 Table 2. Interpretations of cougar behaviors occurring during cougar-pet/tivestock interactions in order of increasin risk to humans. Human Interpretation of Front-Range Cougar Front-Range Cougar Risk Observation of Cougar Behavior Risk Category when Category When Occurs in Cougar Occurs in Open Space Conf7ned Area or On Leash Behavior or Similar Areas away Accompanied by Human Associated with from Dwellings Pet or L,ivesiock Cougar seen in Secretive or Non-threatening, Level 1 Non-threatening, I,eve12 proximity to possibly Curious domestic ct/livestock Cougar displays Avoidance Non-threatening, Level 1 Non-threatening, Level 2 fli ht or hiding Cougar approaches Curiosity or Non-threatening, Level 2 Non-threatening, Level 3, providing pet/livestock, possibly assessing human response is appropriate. displays various success of attack body positions, ears up, intent attention, following behavior 1-Tissing, snarling, Defensive Non-threatening, Level 2 Non-threatening, Level 3, or vocalizations behavior, or Threatening bevel 4 if pet closely ossible attack accom anied b a human Crouching, tail Pre-attack or Non-threatening, Level 3 Non-threatening Leve13, or twitching, intense Tmminent Attack Threatening Level 4 if pet closely staring, body near accompanied by a human or low to ground, rear legs may be ` um ink' Cougar kills or Attack Occurred Level 3 Threatening Level 4, or Dangerous injures pet Level 5 if pet closely accompanied b a human Cougar kills or Attack Occurred Level 3 Threatening Level 4, or Dangerous injures livestock Level 5 if livestock ctosely accom anied b a human b. Decision Process for Evaluating Responses to Coui?ar-Human Interactions Abbreviations in this section used in reference to CDOW personnel positions are: District Wildlife Manager (DWM), Area Wildlife Manager, (AWM), Regional Manager (RM), Wildlife Researcher (WR), Wildlife Research Leader (RL), Terrestrial Section Manager (TSM). At any level of cougar-human interaction, the minimum Decision Response Tcam will consist of the primary WR, the area DVVM, and the appropriate area AWM, unless immediate action is needed to benetit public safety whereby the AWM could act independently of the Decision Response 'Tcam. Input and options provided by all 3 of these persons will be assessed by the group which will attempt to reach a consensus decision. '1'hc Decision Response Tcarn will objectively weigh the options available for each interaction situation and make the most appropriate decision that considers the objectives of the research project while maintaining public safety. The decision will be a process of informed judgment. The AWM, or AWM designee, will be the official CDOW representative for the final decision. If the Decision Response Team cannot reach a decision of consensus, then the AVb'M will engage the RM, RL, and TSM in the decision process. At any level of response, any member of the response team tnay opt to consult 30 with appropriate adjoining AWMs, RM, RL and "1'SM. The AWM will be responsible for forwarding situational and decision information to appropriate field personnel via internal email, phone, or via the Public Information Specialist. The CUOW Regional Public Information Specialist will be responsible for providing information to the CROW Denver Public Information Specialist and the media. As the level of cougar-human interaction increases from Level 1 to Level 5, the decision rationale shall ship and become more weighted towards public safety and preventing further cougar-hurnan interactions as opposed to assessing or moderating cougar behavior. Decisions would therefore shift towards reducing imminent risks to humans. Examples of Cougar-Human Interaction Decision Options Example situations representing radio-collared cougar interaction Levels 1-5 and possible response decision options for responding to the interaction situation are presented below. The known history/behavior of a cougar in relation to levels of human interaction will weigh heavily on research/management decision options. We emphasize that the situations described below are not all encompassing. rurihermore, there may be rare situations where cougar-human interactions occur that prevent responsive management options because of extraneous factors such as access, snow conditions, or proper identification of the interacting cougar. Level 1. Aradio-collared cougar is known to remain in open space lands, utilize natural prey, and utilize areas near public trails based on radio-telemetry information but is not known to have been seen by the public or involved in any level of interaction. Research/Management Options: a. No management prescriptions are applied to the cougar. b. 'Cougar In Area' signs may or may not posted on nearby public trails. c. Aversive conditioning tactics are applied to the cougar consistent with the research study design. Level 2. Aradio-collared cougar is known to remain primarily in open space lands and utilize natural prey but is seen by the public near a public trail or is seen or is otherwise documented to occasionally be near human residences or businesses. Additionally, a cougar not previously radio-collared is seen by the public near a public trail or is seen or is otherwise documented to occasionally be near human residences or businesses Research/Management Options: a. No management prescriptions are applied to the radio-collared cougar. b. The cougar is captured and radio-collared and subjected to management prescriptions consistent with the research study design. c. "Cougar In Area" signs may or may not be posted on nearby public trails. d. "Cougar In Area" signs are posted near human infrastructure. Persons living or working within affected human infrastructure are directly contacted by CDOW. c. Aversive conditioning tactics are applied to the cougar consistent with the research study design. Aversive conditioning tactics may include; pursuing cougar with trained hounds, pepper spray application to cougar, or impacting cougar with rubber pellets fired from a shotgun. 1~. Cougar is captured for the first time, or recaptured and relocated to an appropriate area of natural I~abitat consistent with the research study design. Relocation distances shall not be constrained by Directive W-20. Level 3. Aradio-collared cougar is known to use open space lands and areas having considerable human infrastructw~e. "I'hc cougar has been, or is likely to have been seen by the public on more 31 than t occasion near human residences, businesses, or schools and there is reasonable concern for public safety but the cougar has not been perceived as exhibiting any current or past level of threatening behavior. Additionally, a cougar not previously radio-collared is known or likely seen by the public on more than 1 occasion near human residences, businesses, or schools and there is reasonable concern for public safety because of proximity, but the cougar has not been observed as exhibiting any current or past level of threatening behavior. Research/Management Options: a. do management prescriptions are applied to the radio-collared cougar but monitoring of cougar behavior is intensified by obtaining multiple telemetry locations per day and attempting multiple visual monitoring sessions per day. b. The non-collared cougar is captured and radio-collared, subsequent behavior is closely monitored by obtaining multiple telemetry locations per day and attempting multiple visual monitoring sessions per day. c. Warnings are posted or communicated to the appropriate public using signs or other media. d. Newly collared yr previously collared cougars could be subjected to management prescriptions consistent with the research study design. e. Aversive conditioning tactics are applied to the cougar consistent with the research study design. f. Cougar is recaptured and relocated to an appropriate area of natural habitat consistent with the research study design. g. Cougar is recaptured, additional aversive conditioning tactics are applied to the cougar, and the cougar is relocated to an appropriate area of natural habitat consistent with the research study design. Level 4. Aradio-collared cougar is known to use open space lands and areas having considerable human infrastructure. The cougar has been or is likely to have been seen by the public on several occasions near human residences, businesses, or schools, or there is 1 documented interaction where the behavior of the cougar was reasonably considered to be somewhat threatening to humans but there was no evidence of attacking humans (such as cougar defending an animal carcass, kill site, den site, or young as demonstrated by snarling and vocalizing without stalking). Additionally, a cougar not previously radio-collared is known or likely seen by the public on several occasions near human residences, businesses, or schools, or there is 1 documented interaction where the behavior of the cougar was reasonably considered to be somewhat threatening to humans but there was no evidence of attacking humans (such as cougar defending an animal carcass, kill site, den site, or young as demonstrated by snarling and vocalizing without stalking}. Research/ManaEement Options: a. Warnings are posted or communicated to the appropriate public using signs or other media, and, b. The non-collared cougar is captured and radio-collared, or if involving a previously radio-collared cougar, the subsequent behavior of either cougar is closely monitored by obtaining multiple telemetry locations per day and attempting multiple visual monitoring sessions per day. c. Aversive conditioning tactics are applied to the cougar consistent with the research study design. d. Cougar is initially captured and radio-collared, or recaptured, additional aversive conditioning tactics are applied to the cougar, and the cougar is relocated to an appropriate area of natural habitat consistent with the research study design. e. if a cougar is involved in 1, Level 4 interaction and subsequently becomes involved in another Level 4 interaction, the cougar is euthanized. 32 f. Cougar is captured and euthanized. Level 5. A cougar, whether previously radio-collared or non-collared, is involved in 1 interaction where the behavior of the cougar was highly threatening to humans or an attack of a human occurred. Research/Mana~ement Options: a. Actions follow protocols outlined in W-20, Level D-Attack. Attempts are made to capture the cougar and likely euthanize the cougar. Cougars that must be euthanized will be necropsied by the Colorado State University pathology laboratory with reports provided to the Area Wildlife Manager, primary Wildlife Researcher, and the CDOW Wildlife Health Section. Remains of the cougar, such as head, hide, and tissue will be disposed of based on existing CDOW Regional guidelines with decisions the responsibility of the appropriate A W M. B. INTERNAL CDOW PROTOCOLS MANAGING FRONT-RANGE COUGAR RESEARCH CUMMUtiICATIONS This research project will demand frequent and routine communication between Research, Terrestrial biologists, Area Field Operations personnel, and CDOW Regional and Denver Public Information Specialists. Timing of routine field activities such as baiting, trapping, capturing, and handling of cougars and monitoring ofradio-collared cougars will be communicated frequently via email or phone in order to achieve coordinated success of such activities and to maintain informed local knowledge ofradio-collared cougar behavior and whereabouts. For cougar-human interaction concerns, the minimum communication tree will be the WR, DWM, AWM, RL, and Senior `Terrestrial biologist responsible for the geographic areas} containing the field research activities and/or inhabited by the radio-collared cougar. Communication should be by cell phone, communications radio, or email as needed for appropriate expediency. Frequency of communication will be decided mutually among these 5 persons. Behavior of individual cougars, and especially changes in behavior of cougars, may necessitate changes in frequency of communication. As the potential for acougar-human interaction increases from Level I to Leve15 as judged by the Decision Response Team based on acute or cumulated changes in cougar behavior or cougar location, communication frequency will increase, and ultimately communications will be a part of and dictated by the Decision Response Team. At any time the AWM or RL can expand the communications tree to include the TSM, RM, or other CDOW representatives but will also be responsible for sending the communications to these additional levels. The AWM will be responsible for disseminating appropriate information to other appropriate agencies or entities. 1'he AWM will communicate with the Regional Public Information Specialist who will be responsible for coordinating activities with and providing information to the Denver Public information specialist and the media. C. INTERNAL CDOW PROTOCOLS FOR MANAGING FRONT-RANGE COUGAR RESEARCH DATA Because the cougar project will be high in profile and involves human safety issues, there will be a constant demand for information because of the perceived `need to know' both by internal 33 CDOW staff and the public. Finding the correct balance between the time spent obtaining information and the time spent distributing information, and to whom, will be a learning process and there will be real costs involved in personnel time. Furthermore, what information is distributed and to whom will he a learning process. The Decision Response Team shall clearly state that no 'real-time' data of cougar activity will be released, primarily because 'real-time' data capabilities will not be possible within the scope of the project. Under current CORA guidelines, subject to legal interpretation, the raw, non-summarized data obtained during an on-going research project is protected from being obtained by the public via CORR. Examples of raw data would be the actual latitude-longitude or UTM coordinates of cougar locations or locations of critical den sites orkill-caches. Our intent is that this raw data would not be released to the public at-large, not only to protect the cougars as individuals, but also to protect our copyright on the data the agency has obtained. 'fhe current lynx reintroduction project sets a precedent for this approach with the caveat that lynx are a threatened species. As part of the internal-only communication process and internal agency `knowledge gathering' the WR will, once per month, provide the appropriate DWM, AWM, RL, and Senior Terrestrial biologist with e-maps (jpeg files) showing t11e distribution of radio-collared cougars in relation to important topographic and cultural features, so that these CDOW individuals are adequately aware of cougar locations and movement patterns. If cougar behavior changes such as to increase the likelihood of cougar-human interactions, monitoring of the cougar using VHP telemetry will be increased and frequency of intemal communications will increase appropriately. The AWM and WR will work together to provide a reasonable frequency of `internal-only' information transfer with both individuals cognizant of the trade-offs between study objectives and needs and human safety issues. Cooperating public land-use agencies will be provided the same information on the same established schedule so as to keep these entities similarly informed. The AWM, WR, RL, and the Regional Public Information Specialist will cooperatively discuss what type of information is released to the public and when such releases occur. However, as the public learns that CROW has gained information about cougars in suburban-rural areas because CllOW radio-collared cougars and employed GPS collars and can map detailed cougar locations, post-event, CDOW can expect a variety of demands for information that will need to be addressed and a rising challenge as to how often and in what detail information is provided. The WR will provide a written report by I October summarizing the progress of the research project on an annual basis to Area and Regional personnel. This report will be available to the public through our standard Wildlife Research Keport distribution process. D. EXTF,RNAL COMMUNICATIONS The Front-range cougar research project will attract the interest, curiosity, and involvement of the media such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Appropriately interacting with the media will be important to maintaining credibility with the public and with providing educational opportunities to the public. Requests by the media for involvement with the research project should be assessed as consistently and appropriately as possible by the Decision Response Team. The Decision Response Team shall clearly state that no'real-time' data of cougar activity will be released, primarily because 'real-time' data capabilities will not be possible within the scope of the project. We propose that requests be assessed as a dichotomy ofcougar-human 'non-incident' and 'incident' requests (Table 3). 34 Table 3. Guidelines for res ondin to re uests frotn the media. Media Request Associated with Non-Interaction Request Associated with Involvement Cougar-Human Activity Cougar-Human Interaction Re uest Field Trip on Media schedules time with CDOVb' Field Likety Not Appropriate, Follow Project Activities Personnel; Activity will not jeopardize key field W-20 Guidelines- activities such as capturing & handling cougars or create unnecessary safety issues. Researcher identifies most appropriate time for activity to the Decision Response Team. Decision Response 'Team will notify Regional Public Information S ecialist. Filming or Filming/photography to be done by CROW Follow W-20 Guidelines Photographing inforniation specialists who will provide Project Activities footage!photos to media for media use. Filming coordinated by Decision Response 'Team. CROW retains right to review all footage!photos prior to release whether provided by CROW or private media. Decision Responsc'I'eam will noti Re Tonal Public Information S ecialist. Interview of Project Requests for interviews of project personnel will Follow W-20 Guidelines with Personnel be relayed to the Decision Response Team the exception that questions whenever possible. Interviews will occur to pertaining to research project minimize interrupting routine project activities. objectives, research results, and As a minimum, the RI. and the AWM will be research protocols will be notified of the request to conduct the interview. deferred to the Decision Decision Response 'Team will notify Regional Response Team for accurate Public Information S ecialist. answers. E. DOCUMENT COOPERATORS AWARENESS OF FRONT-RANGE COUGAR RESEARCH PROJECT We recommend that representatives of cooperating entities, such as, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, Jefferson County Open Space, and City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks be made aware of these protocols and the CDOW approved research study plan that will guide this project. Bruce L. McCloskey, Director Date Colorado Division of Wildlife Approval to Implement These Protocols for Front-range Cougar Research Project 35 Appendix II ACUC protocol # 03-2007 Updated Sep. 2008 MOUNTAIN LION CAPTURE AND HANDLING GUIDELINES G~1,0 RAljo b f, ~ ~,r°~' of ~,~,q Prepared hy: Ken Logan Lisa Wolfe With contributions hy: Mat Alldredge 36 MOUNTAIN LION CAPTURE AND HANDLING GUIDELINES TABLE. OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................3 ANESTHESIA AND GENERAL HANDLING CAPTURE TECHNIQUES ............................3 TRAINED 1-IOUND PURSUI"I' ............................................................................3 CAGL•; l'RAPPING ...........................................................................................4 FOOL'-HOL.D SNAIZI;S .....................................................................................5 DELIVERY OP ANES"I'f-1L"fIC DRUGS VIA PROJECTILE SYRINGE ...........................6 FiAND CAPTURE OF CU4S ..............................................................................6 INJURIES AND F.UTHANASIA ..................................................................................7 LITERATURE CITED ..............................................................................................7 APPENDIX A: MOUNTAIN LION CAPTURE METHODS ...............................................8 APPENDIX B: DRUG DOSAGE FOR MOUNTAIN LIONS ................................................9 37 INTRODUCTION Mountain lions (Puma concolor) may be captured for legitimate research activities by trained personnel using approved methods to enhance safety to animals and people. A variety of methods, including the use of: trained dogs, cage traps, foot-hold snares, and hand captures, in combination with appropriate use of anesthetic drugs and delivery systems have been used in lion research. This document serves as a comprehensive reference for lion capture and handling protocols approved by ACUC for lion research in Colorado. The attending veterinarian will be consulted on capture methods. ANESTHESIA AND GENERAL HANDLING Field anesthesia will be delivered to captured mountain lions by trained personnel. Anesthesia is determined under the supervision of the attending veterinarian. Anesthetic drugs will be administered intramuscularly (preferably the caudal thigh) via projectile syringe using agas-powered projector, jab- pole, or hand injection. For capture, lions will be anesthetized with Telazol° (5-9 mg/I:g) and xylazine HCl (I.0-2 mg/kg) or ketamine (10-1 1 mg/kg) and xylazine HCl (1.8-2mg/kg) or ketarnine (2 mg/kg) and medetomidine (0.075 mg/kg) (Shaw 1979, Logan et al. 1986, Kreeger 1996). See drug dosages below (Table I, Appendix B). Emergency drugs are also included in Table I: atropine is used to treat bradycardia, dopram is used to treat respiratory depression (use of intranasal oxygen insufflation is also recommended) and Fluid therapy is used to treat dehydration and hyperthermia. Other drugs may be recommended at the discretion of the attending veterinarian. When handling the anesthetized mountain lion hobbles may be applied to the four feet, snug, but not tight. Apply artificial tears or an antibiotic eye ointment and a blindfold to reduce visual stimuli and protect ttte eyes from bright sun light and debris and evaluate the vital signs. Normal signs: pulse 70-80 bpm, respiration 20 bp?n, capillary refill time ~2 sec., rectal temperature 101 °h average, range = 95-104°F (Wildlile Restraint I-(andbook, 1996, California Dep. of Fish and Game, Wildlife Investigation Laboratory, Sacramento, Kreeger et al. 2002). In temperatures near or at sub-freezing lay the anesthetized lion on a thermal blanket. Wrap it if necessary. In hot temperatures, the lion should be treated with water on the bead, abdomen, and inguinal area. Packing the abdomen and inguinal area with snow is also effective. Lions that receive lacerations during capture will be given antibiotics (Table 1). When the lion is being sampled it should be moved from one side to the other or in sternal recumbency about every 20 minutes to prevent hypostasis in the downside lung. When sampling procedures are completed, the blind-fold and leg restraints (e.g. hobbles) will be removed, and the mountain lion will be allowed to recover from the sedation either naturally or with the aid of an antagonist. When prescribed, yohimbine HCI (0.125 mg/kg IV) will be used to antagonize xylazine sedation and atipamezole (0.3 mg/kg) will be used to antagonize medetomidine sedation, although actual doses are given based on the actual amounts of xylazine or metetomidine given (see Appendix B, Table 1). Attention should be given the location for recovery. If necessary the lion should be moved away from creeks, rivers, cliffs, and roads to minimize hazards during recovery. CAPTURE TECHNIQUF,S Trained Hound Pursuit Experienced houndsmen with trained dogs and working with the principal investigator or assigned technician(s) or with an attending veterinarian should be involved in capture and handling of mountain lions. Before release of dogs, attention should be given to track sizes and stride lengths of the lion type targeted for dog capture. Adults, subadults, and cubs judged to be greater than 5 months old can be safely treed by dogs. Cubs younger than 5 months old are at higher risk of being captured on the ground and mauled by dogs: thus, researchers should avoid using dogs to pursue cubs in that age class. When younger 38 cubs are involved, tracks may be followed with dogs on leashes until the adult clearly separates from the cubs. But, in these cases, researchers need to quickly capture dogs that get back onto the cubs' tracks. Careful assessment of the capture situation needs to be made by a trained person before an attempt is made to anesthetize a bayed mountain lion. All dogs should be security tied to a solid tether prior to darting to avoid injury to a sedated cougar if it should jump from the tree. There should be a clear, unobstructed shot at the lion. Characteristics of the tree should be evaluated to insure that an anesthetized lion will be able to stay in the tree or will not be hurt if it should fall from the tree after being darted (Fig. 1 and 2, Appendix A). 't'he tree must be safely and fairly quickly climbed by a person to secure the lion with ropes and lower it to the ground. In addition, the capture site should be reasonably far enough from cliffs, creeks, rivers, roads, and highways so that if the lion leaves the tree under partial anesthesia it will not immediately be subject to those hazards. If it is not safe to anesthetize the lion it can be encouraged to leave the tree under its own power, and another attempt made to catch the lion at a safe location. In addition, lions bayed on ground at the edge of cliffs should not be anesthetized. If the mountain (ion remains in the tree until almost completely anesthetized, then someone wearing climbing gear will climb to the lion and attach a Y-rope or hobbles to 2 legs and quickly lower the anima] to the ground. For faster acting drug combinations (met/ket), it is necessary to begin climbing the tree once the lion has been darted. Once the lion is nn the ground, the rope or hobbles should be loosened to facilitate blood circulation to the feet. If possible, other personnel will hold a taunt net below to break the lion's fall should it slip before a rope can be secured. If there aren't enough people to hold the net, anchor the net about 2 m above the ground and on adjacent trees. Sharp logs, stumps, and rocks should also be removed from the immediate area to avoid injury in case of a fall. Mountain lions may jump from the tree immediately after being darted. If there is snow cover, the lion should be tracked without the dogs. Attention should be given to changes to the lion's gait and direction of travel. When anesthesia is effective, the ]ion's tracks will weave and show signs of stumbling. If after snow-tracking it over 500 m, it appears that the lion is traveling normally, then dogs can be released on the lion's tracks again to encourage it to tree. if the ground is bare and researchers cannot ground-track the lion, then a dog on a ?eash can be used to track the lion. Alternatively, after waiting 7 minutes for the drug to take effect, at least one non-aggressive dog can be released on the lion's trail to find the lion. Researchers need to follow the dog(s) post-haste to prevent a partially anesthetized lion from harming the dog. If the lion is radio-collared, radio-telemetry can be used to track the lion. Cage 'Trapping Cage traps can be one of the safest methods of capturing mountain lions that are adults, subadults, and large cubs. Below are examples of cage traps that have been used effectively and safely to capture lions. Modifications to these designs arc acceptable but should maintain appropriate levels of safety for the lion, such as avoiding heary guillotine type doors that could injure or crush animals. Additional modifications that may be used in some cases are remote monitoring devices that minimize the amount of time animals remain in the trap. At a minimum traps should be closed or monitored during the day and checked at first light if left open during the night. A cage trap designed specifically for the capture of mountain lions has been used to manage lion human conflicts in California since the late 1980s (Shiner 1992). A similar cage trap was used to safely capture lions for research on lion-human interactions in San Uiego County, California (Sweanor et al. 2008). The cage trap for that study measured 48 in. tall, 40 in. wide, and l0 ft. long. It was built on a frame of 1 %2 in, angle iron with 2 in. by 4 in. grid horse panel made of 3/16 in. welded steel rod for the walls, floor, door, and roof. It had adrop-down door. Mass was about 250 Ib (1 13kg). A similar cage trap designed by K. Logan (CUOW, Mammals Researcher), which is 8 ft. long and has acenter-pivot door, 39 has been used to safely capture lions on the Uncompahgre Plateau Mountain Lion Project (Fig. 3 and 4, Appendix A). Commercially manufactured traps for mountain lions are the Tru-catch Traps (Belle Fourche, SD) models bOD Maxie Deluxe and the 72D. The model 60D measures 60"x22"x28" and weighs 48.41b (22 kg). It has been used to safely capture lions on the U.P. Mountain Lion Project and the Front Range Mountain Lion Project (Fig. 5, Appendix A). The model 72D is a 72 inch-long version of the 60D, weighing 70 Ib. (3l .8 kg), and requires the same modification. Given the structure of the back sliding door, it is necessary to reinforce this door on these traps. Various trigger mechanisms are used vn these traps. A cage-type trap f'or live capture of bears was developed by Beck (1993). The trap measures 1.8m long and I.Om high and wide. The frame is constructed of angle iron, and all side and top panels are wire mesh of 1.9cm mesh size. "I'he floor is 16-gauge steel. Aspring-powered, solid aluminum door is mounted on afull-length hinge at one end. Afull-length latching mechanism holds the door closed. The door is triggered via a treadle pedal mounted on the floor 1.Om from the door. A standard garage door coil spring provides the closing power. Along one side of the trap is a hinged panel measuring 1.8m by 0.3m. Vertical bars placed on 0.3m centers behind this panel. Swinging the window up allows access through the barred area for administering immobilizing drugs by jab-pole. Each trap weighs approximately 519 !b (236kg). In the first study in which these traps were used, there was only one injury to a bear in 134 captures. An adult male broke a canine tooth while in the trap. Of the limited number of times these trap have been used for mountain lions, no known injuries have occurred to date (T. Beck, pers. comm.). Grating width (~<1 inch) should be small in order to limit the possibility of an animal biting the trap and breaking it's canines. A cage trap was designed for mountain lions by Dvn Hunter (USGS) and Colorado State University's Mechanical F,ngineering Department. The trap was designed to be small, light collapsible, and safe. Acounter-weighted door drops closed slowly and quietly so as not to injure any members of a family group caught in the doorway. In addition, there are air-pressured cylinders that slow the door even further and a rubber bumper along the edge in case a tail is caught in the way of the closing door. 'the trap is 3.5 f~. tall, 3.5 ft. wide and 6 ft. long, constructed of 2 in. by 4 in. grid pattern steel horse panel with 0.225 in. rod. Cage traps are normally set during evening, night and early morning hours when mountain lions are most active (Sweanor et al. 2008). A cage trap will be baited, preferably with the kill or bait previously being consumed by the lion. Usually, lions are caught at night, some soon after night-fall. Lions will he immobilized with ajab-pole or hand syringe, with anesthetics and handling procedures described previously. Foot-hold Snares Foot-hold snares can be an effective, relatively safe technique for capturing mountain lions particularly in areas not conducive to using trained hounds (Logan et al. 1999) and where cage traps cannot be hauled. Logan et al. (1999) found life-threatening injuries occurred in 5 of 209 captures. The majority of these injuries were fractures to ulna and/or radius of the snared leg. The snares are constructed to minimize injuries to the mountain lion (Fig. 6, Appendix A). The snare, also called the Aldrich foot snare, was originally designed for the capture of bears. The spring activated snare secures a 3/16 inch steel cable around the foot of the animal, closing tight with the action of a small piece of angle iron fashioned into a sliding lock mechanism. The snares have been modified considerably for lions by incorporating a large steel spring or bungee cords to diminish force applied to 40 f the foot and for shock absorption. Minimizing snare length is also effective at reducing stress/force that can be applied to the snared foot. Duct tape is wrapped along 13-14 cm of the end of the foot loop adjacent to the angle-iron lock to a thickness that will stop the lock and prevent the foot-loop from closing further. This length can be modi ficd if the researcher has prior knowledge of the targeted lion's size (i.e., males have bigger feet than lemales). This slide stop constrains the size of the closed foot-loop to 18- to 19 cm circumference to allow circulation to the lion's foot. It also allows smaller footed non-target animals (e.g., deer, carrids) to pull free from the loop. An in-line swivel is placed in the cable directly behind the foot-loop to avoid torsion of the foot and potential bone fracture. "fhe snare is secured to a tree 4 inches or greater in diameter with 3/16 in. (preferred as abrasions are less frequent compared to smaller diameter) or'/4 in. steel cable clamped and stapled to the base of the tree so the lion cannot climb the tree with the snare. Branches of the tree are lopped off with a saw or an axe about 8 ft. up the tree so the lion cannot hang itself from a branch by the snare cable. An area of 5 meters or more is cleared around the snare site to eliminate potential leg fractures resulting from a fulcrum situation in conjunction to an adjacent tree (Duggins Wroe, pers. comm.) or torque on the leg bones caused by revolutionary twisting of the cable when the swivel is isolated by the foot-loop cable becoming wrapped around stout vegetation. Details on how to safely structure the snare and to choose and prepare snare sites arc in Logan et al. 1999. Drags are not recommended as it does not allow site selection of the actual capture site as does securing a snare to a solid anchor does. The use of a drag could allow a captured animal to travel to an unsafe location, such as a cliff, stream, road, residential area or to climb a tree and hang itself. Other modifications have been made to avoid capturing non-target animals. The trigger on the spring mechanism is positioned over a hole dug in the ground and filled with a 12x 12x4 inch piece of high density foam. This foam prevents smaller animals from triggering the snare. Large branches are angled over the snare to force ungulates to jump over or go around the snare. The foot loop size of 10 in. (25 cm) dia. is set smaller than for a black bear. However, there is a possibility of catching a smaller- footed black bear (Duggins Wroe, pers. comm.). Bears will be drugged and released if caught. Any other non-target animals caught will be examined and treated for injuries and released with snare poles. Snares will be checked as quickly as possible after sunrise every morning to reduce stress and possibility of hyporthermia or hypothermia, depending on ambient temperatures. Capture operations will be halted if ambient temperatures fall below 32°F or rise above 90°F over extended periods. Snaring for lions during extended periods of freezing ambient temperatures is not recommended because the animal's capture foot might freeze (Logan et al. 1999). Snares will be checked at least twice a day when ambient temperatures range between 80 - 90°F. Continuous remote monitoring of snares (e.g., with radio-telemetry beacons) is recommended to minimize response time when ambient temperatures arc more extreme. Adult lions will be immobilized with anesthetics delivered by jab-pole or projectile syringe as described previously. Delivery of Anesthetic Drugs via Projectile Syringe In situations where pursuit by hounds is not possible and snaring or trapping is difficult due to the high abundance ofnon-target animals, a lure may be used to bring a mountain lion in close proximity to dart with a projectile syringe fired from agas-powered projector. Lures may include a fresh kill made by the target animal, a deer carcass placed out as bait, or a predator call. Abound on a Icad will be available to track the animal once it has been darted. [f there is snow cover, the animal can be snow-tracked (as described previously). Alternatively a transmitter dart can be used to track the animal. The caudal thigh is the preferred target for tl~e dart. Hand Capture of Cubs '~;ursling mountain lion cubs can be safely captured by hand or with a catch-pole at nurseries when they are 4 to ] 0 weeks old (Logan and Sweanor 2001). Cubs usually weigh less than 10 kg, and can be examined and tagged without the need for anesthetics. Nurseries can be located when radio-collared 41 I mothers are present, or by using GPS data from GPS-collared mothers. Wait for a time when the mother is away from the nursery, as determined by radio-telemetry, in order to capture the cubs. Cubs should be handled with clean leather gloves. They can be picked up and cradled in gloved hands (Figure 7, Appendix A). A catch-pole may be necessary to extract cubs from holes and crevices. Cubs should be contained together, or in pairs, in new burlap bags to allow ample air circulation (Figure 8, Appendix A). The cubs should be moved about 100 m from the nursery for examination and sampling to minimize human activity, disturbance, and odors at the nursery. Individual cubs that arc being examined can be held in a separate burlap bag. Once the cubs are processed, they should be returned to the exact nursery, and the researchers should leave the area immediately. Burlap bags should not be re-used on other litters to eliminate the chance that pathogens might be passed from one litter to another. Throughout this process a receiver tuned to the frequency of the radio-collared mother should be constantly monitored. If it appears that the mother is returning, the cubs should be put back in the nursery immediately, and researchers should vacate the area. INJURIES AND EUTHANASIA If an animal is seriously injured (e.g. fractured or broken appendage, vertebrae, pelvis, or jaw, severe dislocation, laceration or any other injury that compromises its ability to survive and/or causes severe pain or distress) during capture or recovery, then it will be quickly and humanely euthanized. Mountain lions will be deeply anesthetized with ketamine, Telazol~ and xylazine or ketamine aitd metetomidine ([V or lM) and euthanized via rapid IV KCI administration (400-800 mEq). Alternatively, if an injured lion cannot be handled then euthanasia will be a gunshot to the head or neck with a ?0.22 caliber magnum rifle or pistol. LITERATURE CITED Beck, T, D. L 1993. Uevclopment of black bear inventory techniques; job progress report. Project numbc;r W-153-R-6 Kreeger, T. J., J. M. Arnemo, and J. P. Raatlt. 2002. Liandbook of wildlife chemical immobilization, International edition. Wildlife Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ft. Collins, Colorado. Logan, K. A., E. T. Thorne, L. L. Irwin, and R. Skinner. 1986. Immobilizing wild mountain lions (Fells co~:color) with ketamine hydrochloride and xylazine hydrochloride. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 22:97-103. Logan, K. A., L. L. Sweanor, J. F. Smith, and M. G. Hornocker. 1999. Capturing pumas with foot-hold snares. Wildlife Society Bulletin 27:201-208. Logan, K.A., and L.L Sweanor. 2001. Desert Puma, evolutionary ecology and conservation of an enduring carnivore. Washington D. C.: Island Press. Shaw, H.G. 1979. Mountain lion field guide. Fourth edition. Arizona Game and Fish, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Shuler, J. D. 1992. A cage trap for live-trapping mountain lions. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Vertebrate Pest Conference. Newport Beach, California, March 3-5, 1992. Sweanor, L. L., K. A. Logan, J. W. Bauer, B. Milsap, and W. M. Boyce.2008. Puma and human spatial and temporal use oi'a popular California state park. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:1076- ] 084. -J2 Appendix A. Mountain lion capture methods. (K. Logan photos) ~ ~ r. , I ~ , ~ ,x ~ ~ ~ ..i f ~ _ ~ ~ G\ 1 1~ r ,f ~ Figure 1. An anesthetized mountain lion cradled in f i~~ur~ ~1n anesthetized mountain lion could fall the branches of a tree. from this tree before a researcher could climb up to secure it with ro es. r ~ ~ . `t ](~r r z . ~ ~ 7 ..t~'~V ~ jam.. ` r y T iI.7~A ~ ~ ' - ~.~F~~ r';l f~•F'ii• r w ' _ . qtr: ~ t' Figure 3. ~~1~nurtain lion cage trap ~i~,i`_"~~'. ~ urn ~.:-~:jul~male mountain lion rautht in the Logan with center pivot door. same cage trap baited with a mule deer carcass. Note radio-transmitter rigged on top near door to notify researchers that the door is closed. 43 1 . ~ J ~ r'a' ~ Figure 5. Female mountain lion caught in Tru~-catch Mad~fe ll, baited ~e~ith a mule deer fore-q uarter~. T ~A- l J Zl~i ` '1 J 1 r ft~. ? 1 .rti ~ ~ I _ yy~,, s ~ . 7•~'~'~ .r ~~"ti Figure G. Adult female mountain lion caught by Figure 7. Four-week-old mountain lion cub captured foot-hold snare by her left fore-foot. Note safe zone at nursery, requires no anesthesia. around snare site. .~1 . _ ~ ~ ~ ~L, l ~i , ~ 1~'igure 1~'our-~vcck-old mountain lion cubs held in burla ba s. 44 APPENDIX l3. Drub Dosage for Mountain lions "fable I: Drug dosage by weight for mountain lions as rcconnnendt:d by CDOW vel~rinarian L. Wolfe. DOSAGE CONC DRUG mgtltg mghnl Weight kp 10 20 30 a0 SO 80 70 80 90 ANnstoncs Ozyletracycline 3 200 0 2 0 3 0 5 0 5 0 8 G 9 1 1 t 2 t o Penicillin G 20000 300000 07 1 3 2 0 2 7 3 3 a 0 a i ; 3 6.0 PAINKILLERS Ketoprolen 2 100 0.2 OA 0.6 08 1 0 1 2 t o f 6 1 8 ANESTHETICS prcmlzed: ketamine (200 mg+mq madetomidlne (20mglml) 7 135 0 1 0 3 0 4 05 0% 0 9 t 0 f 2 1.3 ketamine (use in combination with modetomldlne) 2 200 0.1 02 03 01 05 08 07 OB 0.9 medlomidine 20 (use In combination with ketmhto) 008 20 0.04 01 Ot 02 02 02 03 0.3 04 ketamine (use In combination with zylazlne? 10 200 0 50 1 00 1 50 200 2 50 3.00 350 a 00 450 zytazlne 2 100 020 040 060 080 100 1.20 t a0 100 t.BD allpamazole 0 1 S O B 1 2 1 8 2 a 3 0 3.6 a 2 4.8 5.4 Atropine 003 05 06 12 18 24 30 3.8 a2 48 54 Dopram t 20 0.5 10 15 20 25 30 35 a0 a5 lelaxol (mlz bonle with 1.5 ee eterlle water and t cc zylazlne? 5 185 04 07 t t t o 1 8 2? 15 29 33 tolazollne a 1C0 O a O B t 2 1 5 7 D 7 a 2 9 3 2 3 5 as ~tOl \"IAIN 1.1(1V ('AP77 RF. ANA FiANUI.IVG GI IDE:L4IES File q 03-2007 ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMIT"I'EE REVIEW Date: Signed: _ _ Approved _ Denied (see explanation) Reviewer, Animal Care and Use Committee Date: Signed: _ Approved Denied _ (xc explanation) Reviewer, Animal Care and Ux Committ~~c I)a~c Signed Approved- Denied__(xeexplanation) AC'UC Attending Veterinarian i'~.:~. S!, m.,.l _ Approved _ Denied (see explanation) ('haupcrson, Animal Care and I ke Commntec ll~idated . M. Ulichaels 4(, Front-Range Cougar-Human Interactions-Update Colorado Division of Wildlife M. W. Alldredge July, 2008 Over the last 8 months we have made considerable progress on the front-range cougar-human interaction study. Our primary objectives during winter 2007-08 were to capture and collar as many cougars as possible and to begin testing our aversive conditioning techniques. Throughout this period we + retied on bait sites, reported cougar kills, and hound chases to capture cougars. Our efforts were fairly I consistent throughout the winter, with only two weeks of downtime during January. Hounds were used two to four days per week, with the effort split between Jefferson county and Boulder county properties. For four weeks during January and February our capture efforts were suspended on Boulder county properties as they considered our request to continue capturing cougars on their properties following an increase in our sample size requirements. Jefferson county and Boulder city both gave immediate approval for our request to increase sample size, so efforts continued on these properties. In conjunction with our capture efforts, we also conducted weekly telemetry on all collared cougars, downloaded GPS collars at the beginning of every month, and began investigation of'kill sites identified with GPS location data. Telemetry and GPS downloads proved to be more difficult than expected, but was generally accomplished within a reasonable time frame. Difficulties with telemetry and GPS downloads was related to a combination of terrain and cougar behavior, which affected our abilities to receive information frotn the collars. Kill site data has not been completely summarized but does indicate a higher proportion of mule deer in their diet than elk. Opportunities to test aversive conditioning techniques have been rare. Cougar AMU4 did provide one opportunity in October 2007 as he killed several domestic goats. AM04 was captured at the scene, released at his original capture location, and shot with beanbags on release. GPS location data indicate that AM04 rarely utilizes the area where he killed the goats following aversive conditioning in contrast to his utilization of the area prior to the incident. Another occasion to test aversive conditioning was provided on March 29, 2008 when an adult female cougar killed a dog in the Sugarloaf area. Following the incident we set a cage trap at the scene and captured this previously uncollared cougar. At that time we collared the cougar (AF 17), relocated her to an adjacent area outside the neighborhood (approximately 1 mile), and shot her with beanbags on release. AF 17 remained in the general area but we did not receive any reports from the public that implicated her in any further human interactions. [n mid-May 2008, AF 17 was found dead from unknown causes. May 2008, provided several more opportunities to collar cougars interacting with humans and to evaluuate aversive conditioning. On May 8 we received a report of a (lama that had been killed by a cougar on Sugarloaf. We captured a young male (AM 13) at the site, collared him and released him on site. Upon release he was hit with beanbags. No further reports on AM 13 were received until mid-July when he was reported to have killed a deer near someone's home nn Lee Hill. A young female cougar (AF 12) was also captured on May 8°i, after she killed a deer in someone's yard to the east of Broadway in Boulder. AF12 was captured, collared, released 5 miles west of Boulder, and hit with beanbags. AF 12 was caught again on May 29 after she killed a domestic goat on the western edge of Boulder. At that time she was relocated 20 to 30 miles to the west of Boulder and to date she has not returned to the city of Boulder. On May l5, a young male cougar was reported in the city of Boulder and was drug-darted from under a homeowner's deck. This cougar was collared, marked (AM14) and released on adjacent open space property approximately 5 miles away. AM14 did return to the city of Boulder within 5 days and was recaptured and relocated 20 to 30 miles west of Boulder. At this time he has not returned to Boulder but has likely been seen by people in Eldora. Cougar Captures: AM02 (subadult male--June 14, 2007. Lacy Property, Jefferson County. Cage trap. No collar. January 10, 2008. White Ranch, Jefferson County. Hound capture. February, 2008-Coal Creek, Jefferson County. Killed by AM04. AM04 (adult male)--July 14, 2007. White Ranch, Jefferson County. Cage trap. October 17, 2007. l;ldorado Springs, Boulder City-goat depredation-released White Ranch, Jefferson County. Cage trap. Apri129, 2008. Magnolia, Boulder County-replace malfunctioning collar. Hound capture. AM06 (adult male}---November 21, 2007. Heil Valley Ranch, Boulder County. Hound capture. AF03 (adult female)-November 29, 2007. Flagstaff, Boulder City. Cage trap. AFO1 (subadult female)---December 17, 2007. NCAR, Boulder City. Cage trap. AMOS (subadult mate)-December l9, 2007. White Ranch, Jefferson County. Hound capture. AM07 (subadult male}-December 26, 2007. Heil Valley Ranch, Boulder County. Hound capture. April, 2008-Hwy 7, Boulder County. Killed by vehicle. AM08 (subadult female}-December 26, 2007. Heil Valley Ranch, Boulder County. Hound capture. AM09 (subadult male~December 28, 2007. Heil Valley Ranch, Boulder County. Hound capture. AF10 (adult female with kittens}--January ] 5, 2008. Apex, Jefferson County. Cage trap. January, 2008-~I-70, Jefferson County. Killed by vehicle. AF 19 (adult female w/yearlings}-March 4, 2008. Heil Valley Ranch, Boulder County. Hound capture. AF I 1 (subadult femate~March 5, 2008. Mesa trait, Boulder City. Cage trap AM20 (adult male~March 6, 2008. White Ranch, Jefferson County. Hound capture. May 19, 2008-Shot while trying to attack sheep. AF 15 (adult femalej~March 18, 2008. Coffin Top, Boulder County. Hound capture. AF 17 (adult female~March 29, 2008. Sugarloaf, Boulder County. Dog depredation. Cage trap. AM13 (subadult malel^May 8, 2008. Sugarloaf, Boulder County. Llama depredation. Cage trap. AF 12 (subadult femalc~May 8, 2008. Boulder city. Deer killed in yard. Cage trap. Released within 5 miles. May 29, 2008--Boulder city-goat depredation-relocated 20+ miles. Cage trap. AM12 (subadult male}-May 15, 2008. Boulder city. Under deck in town. Darted. Released within 5 miles. May 2U. 2U08-E3oulder city-seen near elementary school -Relocated 2U+ miles. Darted. 5 original captures on Jefferson County Open Space. 5 original captures on Boulder County Upen Space. 3 original captures on Boulder City Open Space. 4 original captures on private property. I original capture on USFS. it 'r 1 r 1 ~41~ t.~ ; a~ Hame Range July 200, 1 - ~ ~ yl"' ; a - r . r . , ~ AF03 Aug08 ; _ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ f~fv107_CompieteHM ' l 1. w ~ < ~ I ,~-r _ AF10_Complete r~ ` ~ ~ _ ~ ~ 1 AM02 Complete ~ ~ ~ ~ AF01_Julptl8 ' ~ B oufdFr ~ p,F08 May08 _ J J ~ / 'E / r. ~ + ~ ~ ~ ~ AF17 Complete ~ r _ 'o^~ ~ f AM05_J u Ip08 / ~ ~y f ~ ,fir ~ ~ AtV106 J u Iy08 r ~ - ~ .~:i +j a a. ~ ' ~ ~ ~ f' ~ ~~.-.;~°p ~ AM20_Complete / ~ , - IP r ~ ~F1~ July08 1i ~ ~ At+404 MCP1 " ~ Ed evcrater ' i ~ ~ f t~ a Denvx ~ ~ %~I~~,,~ i,ak~rood .Glee ~ ~ ~ i, h~iomsvn~ She~Ydan STATE OF COLORADO Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor G~1.A~Ad~ DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES DIVISION OF WILDLIFE ~ AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER ~ Bruce McCloskey, Director rQ~ _.tt1' 6060 Broadway OF V~ Denver, Colorado 80216 'Telephone: (303} 297-1192 For tij-'ildlife- wildlife.state.co.us For People October 31, 2008 TO: Mike Patton, Director, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks FROM: Mathew Alldredge, Wildlife Researcher, and Dave Freddy, Mammals Research Leader, CDOW SUBJECT: Cooperative agreement between CDUW and City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks to conduct Front Range cougar study. Increases in human-cougar interactions along the Front Range of Colorado over the past decade have peaked the interest and concern of local ~vildli f'e and land rnanagers over how best to deal with this issue in a manner that protects the cougar population and maintains appropriate ]evels of human safety. This concern has prompted the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) to initiate along-term research program desigrred to gain an understanding of cougar populations which occur in urban/exurban areas, and to evaluate the effectiveness of various management prescriptions on cougars. As part ofthis effort CDOW is proposing a 5-year study to evaluate cougar natural history, population characteristics, habitat use, interaction with humans and reaction of cougars to management prescriptions. The focal area for this study will be private and public lands 20 to 25 kilometers north and south of the city of Boulder, essentially Lyons to Golden. T'he properties include open space lands managed by City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), Boulder County Parks and Open Space (BCPOS) and Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS). The five sections of the study are: 1. Front Range Cougar Natural History 2. Front Range Cougar Predator-Prey 3. Intimate Colorado Cougar Population 4. Evaluation of Cougar Response to Aversive Conditioning Techniques 5. Evaluation of Cougar Relocation CDOW requests the cooperation of OSMP with this research effort. This cooperation includes: 1. Access to properties managed by OSMI'. 2. Agreement with the use of cage traps for capturing cougars on OSMP properties. 3. Agreement with the use of bean-bags as an aversive conditioning technique on OSMP, for cougars that have demonstrated recurrent use of residential areas. Conditioning will also be applied as the offending individual is in close proximity to a residential area, and will be applied such that the cougar will ]cave the residential area and return to adjacent open space or non-residential areas. DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, Hams D. Sherman, Executive Director WILDLIFE COMMISSION, Jeffrey Crawford, Chair • Tom Burke, Vice Chair • Claire O'Neal, Secretary Members, Robert Bray • Brad Coors • Rick Enstrom • Richard Ray • James McAnally • Ken Torres Ex Offiao Members, Harris Sherman and John Stulp 4. Agreement with the use of bean-bags as an aversive conditioning technique on OSMP for cougars that are being released on OSMP following capture in a residential area or other area of conflict. All individual cougars released on open space will be released within their home range if known, or if not (previously uncollared cat) will be released in an area where negative interactions with resident cats are minimized (males not released in another male's known territory). 'These releases will happen in areas where possible conflict with OSMP visitors will be minimized. 5. Aversive conditioning of cougars interacting with humans in other situations will be applied on a case by case basis and will be discussed with OSMP staff. An example of an alternate situation is a cougar that is interacting with humans on OSMP properties, which is at a level of interaction greater than opportunistic sighting. OSMP staff will be involved to safeguard the ability of cougars to function naturally on OSMP lands. 6. Communication between the CWD field staff and the cougar research staffto aid in identifying likely kill sites or other potential cougar capture sites as well as information collected on marked cougars during data collection on collared deer. 7. Provide logistical support, identify staffto coordinate communication and provide field support as agreed upon with the CDOW research team. CDOW agrees to: 1. Restrict capture methods on OSMP to the use of cage traps unless otherwise agreed upon. 2. Inform OSMP staff prior to accessing OSMP properties 3. Provide OSMP with prompt information on the location of any identified den sites for the purposes of protection of the cougars (planning and control of visitor access). These data will be considered to be sensitive natural resource information and will only be used for internal planning p~irposes. 4. Coordinate with OSMP and CDO W chronic wasting disease researchers and field staff when study lions interact with collared deer. 5. Communicate with OSMP staff about changes to study plan or additional needs. 6. Inform OSMP staff of decisions to use aversive conditioning or other management of animals on OSMP properties (except in situations where human safety is directly threatened, and time does not allow coordination). 7. Allow OSMP staffto assist with field activities to a degree appropriate and helpful. 8. Notify OSMP staff of any problems encountered on OS MP properties requiring action or other assistance, including contact with the public. 9. Handle media and PR requests as needed or coordinate with OSMP if joint response is desired. 10. Provide timely data updates including cougar use maps on a monthly basis, annual reports containing capture information, use maps and data summaries on an annual basis on or before October 31 s, of each year. 11. Communicate with OSMP staff on or before October 31" of each year regarding any changes needed to study af~reements or protocols for the winter capture season. 12. Review agreement and changes in study plan with OSMP staff annually for any updates or changes needed. Properties in the southern part of the OSMP system will be incorporated into the pilot study including all appropriate properties south of Boulder Canyon. Specific property use will be coordinated between OSMP and CDOW staff. We recognize that cougars captured and marked may venture to locales outside of this area. This agreement may be terminated by either party with 60 days advance notice. Approved: Jane Bautigam, City Manager, city of Boulder Date Approved: Tom Remington, Terrestrial Manager, CDOW Date