The Cougar Fund was started 22 years ago by visionaries, Tom Mangelsen and Cara Blessley Lowe. They had been inspired by the extraordinary experience of being able to witness a female mountain lion and her three kittens. Upon realizing how little people really knew about lions they turned that inspiration into action.
Tom and Cara set out to shine a light on the bitter reality that lions were nothing more than a salable commodity to a minority trophy hunting community. The research of Maurice Hornocker in the 1960’s was the first long term study of mountain lions that took a serious look at their benefits on the landscape rather than their blanket removal as varmints, pests, or sources of bounty payouts.
Scientists have continued to add to this body of evidence over the last 50 years and as it grows we hope to see some of the myths fall away. This article gives a short overview of the ecological contributions of puma concolor.