Mark Elbroch

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been told that mountain lions target male mule deer (“bucks”) and, to a lesser extent, male elk (“bulls”). I remember one exchange in which a ranch hand in Colorado told me that if I walked out into the nearby sagebrush, I’d stumble upon buck carcasses just about...

Please Note: This is the first of two blogs about a research paper published today in Science Advances providing the first evidence of complex social strategies in any solitary carnivore—and showing that mountain lions in particular are more social than previously thought. Part Two will chronicle how territorial males structure social interactions among mountain lions....

Stinky dead meat. Oddly, I’ve come to love the stench of it, even though it sometimes turns my stomach. It’s become a badge of honor and a symbol of what I do, hiking long days in search of prey killed by mountain lions. Sometimes the stink helps me locate the carcass, or the sounds of...

I grew up catching animals of all sorts. I kept buckets full of jumping spiders, turtles and snakes. At five-years-old, under the careful instruction of my grandfather, I miraculously caught a rabbit in a flimsy butterfly net attached to the end of a bamboo shoot. After parading it proudly about the house, I released it...

I found the fresh footprints of a subadult male mountain lion not one mile from the typically bustling headquarters of the High Lonesome Ranch in western Colorado, USA. But it was early and the ranch had yet to wake. I sat on the track in the pitch black, awaiting sunrise and the arrival of local...

Contrary to popular belief, mountain lions are not all the same. They are as distinctive in personality as we are. Some are bold, others stick to the shadows. Some are social, others avoid interactions. Some hunt elk, some prefer smaller fare. Some are productive, successful mothers that rear numerous kittens to young adults, and others...

On May 5, 2012, the way I—and many other scientists—understood mountain lions changed forever. A few days earlier, data collected from F57, an adult female mountain lion we’d captured as part of Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project just the month before, revealed that she’d been in the same place for two full days, behavior typically indicative...

Mountain lions live like shadows around us, and most people have never seen one. Most never will. Yet on July 8, the Wyoming Game Commission granted these wraiths of forests and mountains a reprieve in several parts of the state, including Unit 2 in the northwest where Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project (TCP) operates. Unit 2...

The “Secret Life of Mountain Lions” provides an intimate glimpse into the family lives of mountain lions. This true story follows F61, an adult female mountain lion, and one litter of kittens. Mountain lions have long been considered anti-social creatures, but this remarkable short film reveals a family that is playful, affectionate and interdependent, even...

I’m thrilled to share that Wyoming legislature voted yesterday in favor of science and to protect the balance of nature on which our state so deeply depends. HB0012, which would have allowed the trapping of mountain lions in Wyoming, failed to pass the House on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm. Thank you to...

This January, a bill called HB0012 was introduced in the Wyoming legislature that, if passed, would allow any person with a valid hunting license to kill a mountain lion using a trap or snare. This bill is not based on valid science, and the negative consequences for mountain lions, other wildlife, Wyoming citizens, and the...

Its Big Cat Week on NatGeo Wild, and one of the headliner films is Cougars Undercover, a dramatic film following the lives of two mountain lion families in northwest Wyoming. The stars of the film are F51 and F61, adult female mountain lions studied by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, an ongoing work addressing diverse ecological...

F61 and F51, adult female mountain lions (Puma concolor), also called cougars, followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project were both four years old when they gave birth to their first litters of kittens within a month of each other in 2011. The pair of big cats were neighbors in adjacent and overlapping home ranges in...