Wandering mountain lion tracked 558 miles to Mesa Verde Nationwide Park

A roaming young mountain lion has arrived at Mesa Verde Countrywide Park following traveling 558

A roaming young mountain lion has arrived at Mesa Verde Countrywide Park following traveling 558 miles from central New Mexico, according to wildlife officers.

The young male was equipped with a GPS collar by the Pueblo of Santa Ana Section of Organic Resources on Feb. 12.

Nicknamed “Squeaks,” the lion, estimated to be 1 to 2 a long time old, remaining the Santa Ana Pueblo north of Albuquerque on July 5. On his journey north, he wandered across the Navajo Nation, swam throughout Navajo Lake twice, then entered Colorado on Aug. 24.

Regular updates about his progress are posted on the Pueblo of Santa Ana Section of All-natural Assets Facebook page, which is adopted by his followers.

He used some time alongside the Florida River south of Durango and built several tries to move northward but would turn again right after working into open up agricultural lands and scattered advancement, wildlife officials said.

He tried out to shift west but apparently was fearful by U.S. Freeway 550. On Sept. 28, Squeaks crossed the highway less than a bridge at mile marker 2.

A movie delivered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife showed him consuming from a water trough south of Mancos on Sept. 30, and GPS monitoring reveals Mesa Verde Countrywide Park could be his new home.

It is not uncommon for a youthful male mountain lion to journey good distances to find territory to settle in, stated Ken Logan, a mammals researcher with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Montrose business office.

“At that age, they are like mountain lion young adults. They grow to be impartial from their moms and disperse away from their natal space,” he explained.

In this case, the traveling young male was most likely tests out prospective territories, Logan explained.

Several elements occur into play, such as adequate prey, good cover, whether there are females to breed and whether there is a dominant male in the territory by now.

“Along the way, he’s getting down prey, expanding, getting much better and much more skilled. That will help to get a lot more competitive and give a new territory a try out,” Logan reported.

Mesa Verde is excellent mountain lion habitat, he stated. The vast network of canyons and foothills offers great cover and refuge, and there are mule deer, elk and lesser mammals.

Statistically, male lions normally go away their household variety, Logan said, while about 50% of woman lions create adult residence ranges where they had been raised. By touring considerably, males lower inbreeding.

To day, Squeaks’ GPS collar has gathered 2,925 areas. The collars are programmed to accumulate a site each and every two hrs, and people positions are transmitted to a satellite twice for each working day. Just after about 1 12 months, the collar is programmed to drop off.

Squeaks is 1 of two surviving kittens born in October 2018 at the confluence of the Rio Jemez and Rio Grande rivers, in accordance to Santa Ana Pueblo wildlife officials.

Right after getting his GPS collar at 15 months aged, he stayed with his mom, “Notch,” and sister until eventually April 2020. Then, as younger males do, he set out to check out beyond his home selection in research of new territory July 5.

He has survived alongside the way by having elk calves, deer fawns, porcupines, raccoons and other animals.

“We wish this 2-12 months-previous lion superior luck and harmless travels,” the Santa Ana Pueblo Section of Natural Assets reported. “We’re however not positive if Mesa Verde National Park will turn out to be his new household, but if it does, at least we know he has very good flavor in true estate.”

[email protected]