Morphology and Population Characteristics of Vancouver Island Cougars, Puma concolor vancouverensis

Steven F. Wilson, Apryl Hahn, Aaron Gladders, Karen M. L. Goh, David M. Shackleton


Cougars are a management concern on Vancouver Island because they are a top predator and because there have been frequent attacks on humans on the island. However, little is known about Cougar ecology in the Pacific Northwest of North America. We studied Cougar morphology and population characteristics as part of a larger study in two areas on Vancouver Island. We derived a multivariate measure of body size to describe changes with age and sex. Body size was similar in the two study areas. Survival rates for adult females were higher than those reported elsewhere; however, hunters avoided shooting females in general, and radio-collared Cougars in particular. Litter size at first detection was lower than reported in many other studies and may be related to food availability.

Includes erratum for a figure in this article.


Cougars; Puma concolor vancouverensis; morphology; survival; mortality; natality; Vancouver Island; British Columbia

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