Eastern Cougar Foundation

Cougar Rewilding Foundation





Numerous books on cougars are available in libraries, book stores, and online dealers. Remember that the cougar goes by other names, and books are sometimes titled or listed under Mountain Lion, Puma or Panther.  The list below includes books, DVDs, videos and articles specifically on cougars in eastern and central North America as well as on cougars in general.  We also include documents relevant to cougars and cougar restoration in the Midwest and East.  Most of the books listed below are either still in print or can be purchased inexpensively from used book dealers such as amazon.com and alibris.com.   If the title of an article or book is underlined, you can download it by clicking on the title.  If not, you may be able to obtain pdf copies of journal articles by emailing one of the authors.



Bekoff, Marc, and Cara Blessley Lowe, editors. 2007.  Listening to Cougar.  Boulder, Colorado, University Press of Colorado, 200 pp.  Contributions by Rick Bass, Marc Bekoff, Janay Brun, and many others.  Foreword by Jane Goodall.

Ewing, Susan, and Elizabeth Grossman, eds.  Shadow Cat: Encountering the American Mountain Lion. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1999. 225 pp.  A collection of thought-provoking essays that explore the relationship between the cat and humans. Authors include Rick Bass, Chris Bolgiano, Harley Shaw, Ted Williams and Terry Tempest Williams.



Anderson, Allen E.  1983. A Critical Review of Literature on Puma (Felis concolor).  See description under General above.

MountainLion.net.  This is an online bibliography, with a second, annotated section, maintained by KC Lamb.  http://mountainlion.net/  You can look for specific topics by using the Edit-Find feature of your computer.

Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming

Anderson, Charles R., Jr., F.G. Lindzey and D.B. McDonald.  2004. Genetic structure of cougar populations across the Wyoming Basin: metapopulation or megapopulation.  Journal of Mammalogy 85(6):1207-1214. 
In this study, the authors analyzed the DNA of cougars from the mountain ranges of central and eastern Wyoming and the Black Hills.  They decided that they are all a single population.  In other words, the cougars of the Black Hills were derived from cougars immigrating the Wyoming mountains to the west.

Fecske, Dorothy M.  2003.  Distribution and abundance of American martens and cougars in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.  South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA. 171 pp.

Hurley, M.A. et al.  2011.  Demographic response of mule deer to experimental reduction of coyotes and mountain lions in southeastern Idaho. Wildlife Monographs 178(1): 1-33 (abstract).http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wmon.4/full
Removing coyotes had no impact on the number of deer available to hunters.  Removing cougars had a minimal impact on deer numbers.

Jansen, Brian D.  2011.  Anthropogenic factors affecting mountain lions in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Dissertation.  South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA.  145 pp.

Thompson, Daniel J.  2009.  Population demographics of cougars in the Black Hills: survival, dispersal, morphometry, genetic structure, and associated interactions with density-dependence.  Dissertation.  South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA.  140 pp.

Thompson, D.J., and J.A. Jenks.  2010.  Dispersal movements of subadult cougars from the Black Hills: the notions of range expansion and recolonization.  Ecosphere - www.esajournals.org  Volume 1(4): Article 8, 11 pp.

Thompson, Dan. 2012.  Wyoming Mountain Lion Mortality Report.  Harvest Year 2011.  September 1, 2011 - April 30, 2012. Click here for pdf.

Wyoming Game & Fish Commission.  2012. Proposed changes in the 2012-2013 mountain lion hunting seasons. Click here for pdf.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 2012.  Map of proposed new mountain lion Hunt Areas in the Black Hills (Northeast Wyoming).  Green areas are lands managed by the Black Hills National Forest. Click here for pdf.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department.  Mountain Lion Harvest September 1, 2009 - March 31, 2010. Click here for pdf.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department.  Mountain Lion Harvest September 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011. Click here for pdf.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Wyoming Mountain Lion Hunting Quota/Harvest Information 2001-2010. Click here for pdf.

Additional documents on cougar management in the Black Hills of South Dakota can be downloaded from the Mountain Lion Foundation's "States" section - http://www.mountainlion.org/us/sd/-sd-portal.asp

Children’s Books:

Many books about cougars have been written for children.  Look in your public library.  Do you have a favorite—one that gives accurate information and is enjoyable for both children and their parents, who may be reading them aloud?  Let is us know.

Montgomery, Rutherford. 2001. Yellow Eyes. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Press. 243 pp. Yellow Eyes is a cougar living somewhere in the Rockies. His greatest enemy is Cougar George, a government-paid varmint exterminator; his best friend is the Indian trapper Treon. Yellow Eyes is only trying to live his life. Montgomery had the ability to tell stories from an animal’s point of view without being overly sentimental. A true classic, reprinted ten times since it was first published in 1937. Many now middle-aged people remember reading this book as a transforming event. Check out the reviews at amazon.com. One reader says, “I believe this single read provided me with the empathy I behold today, for wildlife and their never ending plight with encroaching (so-called) civilization.” (Fiction, for all children.)

Wlodarski, Loran.  2010.  Felina’s new home.  Illustrated by Lew Clayton.  This fictional tale is the story of  Felina the Florida Panther.  It provides accurate information about the panther and the other animals it shares its habitat with.  It doesn’t shy away from the problems our beloved feline faces, but does it in a way younger children can understand and appreciate.  The book includes teaching activities & interactive quizzes based on the information in the book.  Suitable for age 4-8/Grade level P-3. Free online resources available at: www.SylvanDellPublishing.com  Reviewed by Carmel Severson.


Conference Proceedings:

McGinnis, Helen J., Jay W. Tischendorf and Steven J. Ropski (editors)..  2006. Proceedings of the Eastern Cougar Conference 2004.  Morgantown, West Virginia, USA.  On a CD which can be ordered from our online store.

Proceedings of the Mountain Lion Workshops, 1976-2008.   Only a handful of articles are about cougars of the East and Midwest.  You can download all the Proceedings from the Mountain Lion Foundation's Library here - http://www.mountainlion.org/publications.asp

Ropski, Steven J. and Jay W. Tischendorf (editors).  The Eastern Cougar Conference, 1994, Gannon University, Erie, PA [Proceedings].  Published by American Ecological Research Institute (--AERIE). 245 pp.Contains abstracts or full text of twenty papers. 

Williams, J., H. Robinson, and L. Sweanor, editors. 2011. Proceedings of the 10th Mountain Lion Workshop. May 2-5, 2011. Bozeman, Montana, USA pdf 3.6MB

Cougar Attacks and Co-Existence:

Baron, David. 2004. The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature.  NY:  W.W. Norton & Co., 2004. 277 pp. See Book Review by WENDY J. KEEFOVER-RING.

Deurbrouck, Jo.  2007,  Stalked by a Mountain Lion: Fear, Fact and the Uncertain Future of Cougars in North America.  Guilford, Connecticut: FalconGuide. 2007.  187 pp. Some chapters in this book are stories of attacks from the point of view of the victims and their families.  Others are written from the perspective of cougars, trying to survive in a world increasingly dominated by human development.  It is a revision of Cat Attacks: True Stories and Hard Lessons from Cougar County by Deurbrouck and Dean Miller.  (Seattle, Washington: Sasquatch Books, 2001.  221 pp.)  The wording of many of the chapters is the identical; what has changed are the titles and photographs at the beginning of each chapter.  For example, Chapter 2 in the 2001 version is entitled “Profile of the Killer” and is illustrated with a memorial plaque for the victim of a cougar attack.  In the 2007 version, Chapter 2 has been re-titled “A Crash Course in Cougars” and is illustrated with a photo of a cougar in a non-threatening pose.  Also added to the 2007 version are color plates, including a remarkable sequence of a cougar capturing a mountain goat in Glacier National Park, and two chapters on cougars in the East., featuring Barbara Chaplin of CougarQuest and reports from Shenandoah National Park and elsewhere in NW Virginia.

Etling, Kathy.  2001. Cougar Attacks:  Encounters of the Worst Kind.  Guilford, CT:  Lyons Press, 246 pp.  Reviews the biology of cougar attacks, analyzes many cases, and discusses methods for dealing with cougars.  It includes lengthy tables of verified and highly probable fatal and nonfatal attacks up to January 2001, which were collected by Lee Fitzhugh, author of several scientific articles on cougar attacks.  Some readers will find the sheer number of reports discussed boring.

Fascione, Nina, Aimee Delach and Martin E. Smith.  2004.  People and Predators: From Conflict to Coexistence.  Washington, Island Press, 285 pp.  A series of articles by biologists.  Especially relevant to cougar recovery in the East and Midwest are these articles: “Carnivore conservation and highways” by Bill Ruediger and “Dispersal and colonization of the Florida Panther: Overcoming landscape barriers—biological and political” by Davis S. Maehr. Makes Cougar Rewilding's case for reintroduction of cougars/Florida panthers to eastern wildlands and suggests areas where the first cougars might be reintroduced

Mattson, David, Kenneth Logan and Linda Sweanor.  2011.  Factors governing risk of cougar attacks on humans.  Human-Wildlife Interactions 5(1):135-158.
In the most definitive analysis of cougar attacks in the United States and Canada to date, the authors analyzed 386 human-cougar encounters since 1890, including 29 fatal attacks.  They found that yelling, backing away, throwing objects and making oneself look large decreased the chance of an attack during a close encounter.  Children younger than 10 years old were most likely to be attack, but intervention by people of any age reduced the odds of a child’s death by 4.6X.  Currently, an average of 4 to 6 cougar attacks occur in the US and Canada per year.  Cougars are responsible for roughly one out of every 150 animal-caused deaths annually in the United States.  Most of these deaths are caused by domestic animals.

Torres, Steven.  2005.  Lion Sense: Traveling and Living Safely in Mountain Lion Country.  2nd Edition.   Guilford, Connecticut:FalconGuide.  77 pp.  An amazing amount of information is packed into this little paperback book, written by a cougar expert in California.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Cougars and Biodiversity:

Adams, Jonathan S.  2006.  The Future of the Wild: Radical Conservation in a Crowded World.  267 pp.  Beacon Press, Boston.   Explains why cougars and other large carnivores are crucially important in maintaining biodiversity on the Planet Earth.

Ballard, Warren B., D. Lutz, T.W. Keegan, L.H. Carpenter, and J.C. deVos, Jr.  2001.  Deer-predator relationships: a review of recent North American studies with emphasis on mule and black-tailed deer.  Wildlife Society Bulletin 29(1):99-115.  http://www.muledeerworkinggroup.com/Docs/Ballard_et_al_2001a.pdf

Foreman, Dave.  2004.  Rewilding North America: A Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century.  Washington, DC; Island Press.  295 pp.  Legendary “eco-warrior” Foreman, founder of Earth First! and the Rewilding Institute, sets out a plan for conserving wildness and biodiversity.  Among his recommendations: restore cougars to the East.

Laundre, John and Chris Spatz.  2011.  Paradise Lost: Deer, cougars and the decline of eastern forests.  Wildlands Connection, newsletter of the Wildlands Network, Fall 2011, pp. 5 - 10.  http://www.twp.org/sites/default/files/wc_fall2011.pdf 

Oregon State University Trophic Cascades Program.  Many scientific papers, as well as popular articles and books, are being published on the effects of wolf and cougar presence on their ungulate prey and ecosystems.  You can download many important journal articles from this website - http://www.cof.orst.edu/cascades/articles.php

Prugh, Laura R., C. J. Stoner, C. W. Epps, W. T. Bean, W. J. Ripple, A. S. LaLiberte and J. S. Brashares.  2009.  The rise of the mesopredator.  BioScience 59(9):779-791. 
Apex predators such as cougars and wolves have experienced catastrophic declines throughout the world as a result of human persecution and habitat loss. These collapses in top predator populations are commonly associated with dramatic increases in the abundance of smaller predators. Known as “mesopredator release,” this trophic interaction has been recorded across a range of communities and ecosystems. Mesopredator outbreaks often lead to declining prey populations, sometimes destabilizing communities and driving local extinctions. The authors present an overview of mesopredator release and illustrate how its underlying concepts can be used to improve predator management in an increasingly fragmented world. They also examine shifts in North American carnivore ranges during the past 200 years and show that 60% of mesopredator ranges have expanded, whereas all apex predator ranges have contracted. The need to understand how best to predict and manage mesopredator release is urgent—mesopredator outbreaks are causing high ecological, economic, and social costs around the world.
For pdf Copy click here

Ray, Justina C., Kent H. Redford, Robert S. Steneck, and Joel Berger (editors).  2005.  Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity.  Washington, DC; Island Press,  526 pp.  A collection of articles written by scientists who have studied the role of carnivores around the world, on land and in the ocean.  Chapters especially relevant to cougars include

  • Large carnivorous animals as tools for conserving biodiversity: assumptions and uncertainties by Justina C. Ray
  • Forest ecosystems with carnivores: when ungulates rule by William J. McShea
  • Large carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores in South Florida: an evolutionary approach to conserving landscapes and biodiversity by David S. Maehr, Michael A. Orlando, and John J. Cox
  • Hunting by carnivores and humans: does functional redundancy occur and does it matter? by Joel Berger

Russo, John P.  1964.  The Kaibab North Deer Herd: Its History, Problems and Management.  Phoenix, Arizona: State of Arizona Game and Fish Department, Wildlife Bulletin No. 7.  195 pp.  The story of the Kaibab deer herd is continued up to 1961, but the account is obfuscated in this book.
Stolzenburg, William2008.  Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators.  (See review by Christopher Spatz)  New York; Bloomsbury.  291 pp.  A readable account of the latest scientific information on the importance of apex predators in the maintenance of biodiversity on land and in the water.

Terborgh, John, and James A. Estes (editors).  2010.  Trophic Cascades: Predators, Prey, and the Changing Dynamics of Nature.  Island Press, Washington, DC.  464 pp.  Many chapters in this book are rather technical and will be difficult for people without a background in ecology to get through.  But the chapters entitled "Large Predators, Deer and Trophic Cascades in Boreal and Temperature Ecosytems" (pp. 141-161) - click here for a copy - and the section on "Deer-Vegetation Dynamics on the Anticosti Island, Quebec" (pp. 169-170) are easy to read.  Food for thought: Do we want the composition of our eastern forests to be dictated by deer?

Young, Christian C.  2002.  In the Absence of Predators: Conservation and Controversy on the Kaibab Plateau.  Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.  269 pp.  During the 1920s an all-out effort was launched to eliminate mountain lions from Arizona’s Kaibab Plateau, part of which is in the north part of Grand Canyon National Park, the rest in the Kaibab National Forest.  The effort was successful.  The deer herd multiplied, stripping the land of edible vegetation.  Then the herd, having eaten itself out of house and home, crashed.  At least, that’s what wildlife biology students learned in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  Then opinion changed: the problems with the deer herd were caused by multiple factors, not necessarily by elimination of pumas.  Now the pendulum of opinion is swinging back again.  This account tells the story up to the early 1940s.

Cougars in Eastern North America Outside Florida:

Allardyce, Gilbert. 2001. On the Track of the New Brunswick Panther: The Story of Bruce Wright and the Eastern Panther. Copyrighted by the author. 145 pp. Copies are available from Westminster Books, Fredericton, New Brunswick, www.westminsterbooks.com

Beier, Paul, and Reginald H. Barrett.  1993.  The cougar in the Santa Ana Mountain Range, California.  Final Report, Orange County Cooperative Mountain Lion Study, June 1, 1993.  102 pp. 
On pages 56-57, the authors conclude, "Most cougar sightings are bogus and do not need validating.  In our experience during 1988-1992, at least 75% and perhaps as many as 95% of the routine sightings were cases where the observer has misidentified a bobcat, coyote, domestic dog, domestic cat, raccoon, or deer."  They give three specific examples.  If people who live in cougar range are unable to distinguish cougars from other animals, we'd expect that people who are in areas where they have been absent for at least 100 years are even less qualified to identify them.

*Bolgiano, Chris, and Todd Lester, Donald W. Linzey, and David S. Maehr.  2003. Field Evidence of Cougars in Eastern North America.   Presented at the 6th Mountain Lion Workshop, Dec. 12-14, 2000, San Antonio, TX.  Some of the listed items are no longer considered valid evidence of wild cougars in the East.

*Bolgiano, Chris. 2002.  Living in the Appalachian Forest:  True Tales of Sustainable Forestry.   Stackpole Books, 200 pp.  An exploration of the meaning of "sustainability" as it applies to postindustrial woodlands in the world's most biologically diverse temperate forest, the southern Appalachians.  Includes a chapter profiling Todd Lester, founder
of the ECF, and the potential role of cougars in the eastern woods.

*Bolgiano, Chris, and Jerry Roberts.  2005.  The Eastern Cougar: Historic Accounts, Scientific Investigations, New Evidence.   Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 246 pp.  A collection of articles, documents and original contributions plus an extensive reference list.
Butz, Bob.  2005.  Beast of Never, Cat of God. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press, 243 pp.  Concentrates on the controversy over evidence of cougars in Michigan, which has lessons for the East.

Cardoza, James E., and Susan A. Langlois.  2002.  The eastern cougar:  a management failure?  Wildlife Society Bulletin 30(1): 265-273..  Discusses the history of sightings and the probability that some are of real cougars.  Recommends that wildlife professionals do serious research based on standardized protocols.

Downing, Robert L.  1984.  The search for cougars in the eastern United States.  Cryptozoology 3:31-49. This article summarize the only agency-supported search for cougars in the East, conducted by U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologist Robert Downing.

Hamilton, Dave.  Cougar Hysteria: Addressing Mountain Lion Mania in the Midwest & East.  Wild Cat News, December 2006.  Can be downloaded from the Publications section of the Cougar Network’s website, www.cougarnet.org

Harden, Blaine.  Deer draw cougars ever eastwardNew York Times, November 12, 2002.  As of September 2008, you can find this article online by Googling the title.

Humphreys, Charles R.  1994.  Panthers of the Coastal Plain. Wilmington, NC: The Fig Leaf  Press, 200 pp. & map.  Between August 1990 and January 1993 the author personally interviewed people who saw cougars within a 40-mile radius of Wilmington. Approximately half of the sightings were of black animals. Plotting each sighting on a detailed map
of the area, Humphreys determined that they tended to appear in clusters. He concluded that the region has supported a viable population of panthers for at least 40 years and that it has increased along with the number of deer. However, the assumed panther tracks he photographed are dog tracks.  A rare book.

Joliceour, Hélène, Annie Paquet and Jean Lapointe.  2006.  Sur la piste du couguar (Puma concolor) au Quebec, 1955-2005: analyse des rapports d’observation.  Le Naturaliste Canadien 130(2):49-58.  La Sociétè Provancher d’Histoire Naturelle du Canada.

Kirk, Jay.  2004.  Aslan Resurrected. Harper's Magazine, April, 2004.  An entertaining account of people searching for cougars in the East.

Krohn, W.B., and C.L. Hoving.  2010.  Early Maine wildlife: historical accounts of Canada lynx, moose, mountain lion, white-tailed deer, wolverine, wolves, and woodland caribou – 1603-1930.  University of Maine Press, Orono, Maine.  523 pp.
This book is a collection of previously published accounts of these species in Maine and adjacent states and Canadian provinces.  Cougars were probably present in Maine prior to 1900, but were rare. 

McCollough, Mark.  2011.  Eastern puma (=cougar) (Puma concolor couguar). 5-Year Review: Summary and evaluation.  US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Field Office, Orono, Maine.  107 pp.  In this report, the US Fish & Wildlife Service announces it determination that native eastern cougars did not survive in the East outside of Florida and that the former subspecies will be delisted.  It is a comprehensive document that is a must read for everyone seriously interested in cougars in the East, and a starting point for those of us who maintain they should be reintroduced.

McKelvey, K.S., K.B. Aubry, and M.K. Swartz.  2008.  Using anecdotal occurrence data for rare or elusive species: the illusion of reality and a call for evidentiary standards.  BioScience 58(6): 550-555.  This article investigates what happens when anecdotal evidence (such as sightings without accompanying evidence) are accepted as documentation of the existence of rare species such as Pacific fishers, wolverines and ivory-billed woodpeckers.  It does not deal directly with cougar sightings, but the implications are obvious. http://training.fws.gov/EC/Resources/dev_ba/mis_info/using_anecdotal_ccurance_data_for_rare_or_exlusive_

Parker, Gerry.  1998.  The Eastern Panther: Mystery Cat of the Appalachians. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nimbus Publishing Ltd.. 210 pp. Parker investigated reports of cougars in Atlantic Canada between 1976 and 1984. He relates stories of hunts for the last surviving eastern panthers in the 1800s and the men who killed them. His search for stuffed eastern panthers took him to museums large and small. He reviews some tantalizing reports of sightings in the 1900s and introduces us to modern-day panther hunters, who search relentlessly for more sighting reports and physical evidence.  Can be ordered from the publisher at http://www.outdoorns.com/reviews/index.html

Rosatte, Rick.  2011.  Evidence confirms the presence of cougars (Puma concolor) in Ontario, Canada.  Canadian Field Naturalist 125:116-125. Download copy here.

Tischendorf, Jay W. and F. Robert Henderson.  1995.  The puma in the central mountains and Great Plains.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska.  Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control, Workshop Proceedings, 99-102.  Can be downloaded from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/gpwdcwp/453.  One of the first reports listing recent confirmations in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, and the potential of the cougar to recolonize central North America.

Tougias, Robert.  2011.  The Quest for the Eastern Cougar: Extinction or Survival.  iUniverse.com.  336 pages.  Watch for a review of this new book on this website.

Wright, Bruce S.  1959, The Ghost of North America.  New York: Vantage Press; 140 pp., and 1972, The Eastern Panther: A Question of Survival. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co Ltd., 177 pp.   Many leading advocates of the existence of the eastern cougar owe their initial interest to Bruce Wright. He was a wildlife biologist in New Brunswick and the first to take eastern sightings seriously. In these books he recounts many sightings and experiences and explores possible explanations for the many sightings of black cougars.  Both books are out of print but available from used book dealers.


Cougars in Central North America East of the Rockies:

Laundré, John W.  2012.  Phantoms of the prairie: the return of cougars to the Midwest - http://www.easterncougar.org/pages/store.htm  196 pp.  University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin. Available in our online store.

A book about what was, what is, and what could be.  It tells the story of what the ecological role of cougars probably was before the destruction of the large prairie ecosystem.  The book then looks at where cougars might still live in what remains of the prairie areas, how they should be versus how they are being viewed by the citizens in those areas, and what are the chances they can return.  Lastly, the book looks at what possible routes cougars might take to cross the "amber waves of grain" to reach forested areas in the East.  The book is a virtual journey of cougars into and through the Midwest, a journey we hope you will take.

Tischendorf, Jay W. and F. Robert Henderson.  1995.  The puma in the central mountains and Great Plains.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska.  Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control, Workshop Proceedings, 99-102.  Can be downloaded from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/gpwdcwp/453.  One of the first reports listing recent confirmations in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, and the potential of the cougar to recolonize central North America.
Additional documents on cougar management in the central United States can be downloaded from the Mountain Lion Foundation's "States" section - http://www.mountainlion.org/state_landing.asp

Other relevant items are listed in this Bibliography under "Habitat and Dispersal Studies in Central and Eastern North America."

Cougars Up Close:

Bisque, Ramon E.  2004.  Lions of the Lyons: Colorado Cougars in a Modern Predator/Prey Drama.  Golden, Colorado: West by Southwest, Inc.  110 pp.  Few people, including cougar biologists, have had the opportunity to observe undisturbed wild cougars and their interactions with deer close up that Bisque, his family and neighbors have had.  They live outside Golden.  Excellent photos and descriptions of typical deer kills.  You can purchase a copy from Bisque’s website, http://www.bisque.com/ray/cougar

Brock, Stanley E.  1966.  Leemo: A True Story of a Man’s Friendship with a Mountain Lion.  New York: Taplinger Publishing Company..  176 pp.
Brock, Stanley E. 1967.  More about Leemo: The Adventures of a Puma.  New York: Taplinger Publishing Company..  188 pp.
Brock, Stanley E.  1972.  Jungle Cowboy.  New York: Taplinger Publishing Company, 1972. 190 pp. The story of Brock’s relationship with a female puma he adopted as a kitten.  She was often allowed to run free on the huge cattle ranch he managed in southern Guyana.  Many interesting observations and photographs, and much about other animals that he observed and adopted.  Leemo’s story is strung out through the three books.  A classic set of books.

Childs, Jack. L., and Anna Mary Childs.  2008.  Ambushed on the Jaguar Trail: hidden cameras on the Mexican border.  Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, Arizona.  151 pages.
A collection of photographs taken by remote cameras on the U.S.-Mexico as part of a project to document jaguars in the U.S.  Three jaguars were documented, but so were many other animals and humans too, including illegal immigrants and nude hikers.  We see many native animals, some of which aren’t found in the East or Midwest—peccaries, coatis and ringtails, for example.  Cougars are prominent, some caught in “intimate” moments—nursing their kittens, two males facing off, scent marking.

Lawrence, R.D.  1983.  The Ghost Walker.  In the fall of 1973, R.D. Lawrence purchased enough food and supplies for ten months in the wilderness near Revelstoke, British Columbia.  During the summer he’d hired a private plane and searched the region, looking for a cougar for his planned long term, “noninvasive” study.  Eventually he saw one running across an open space.  He ferried in his supplies by canoe and used the ruins of an abandoned mining camp to construct a small, snug cabin.  Then he started looking for sign of the cougar.  He soon found a kill and hid himself nearby.  Over the ensuring months the two potentially dangerous predators—man and cougar, which he named The Ghost Walker—established a relationship.  Lawrence wasn’t always the stalker.  A unique story and an excellent read for anyone who loves wildlife and wilderness, the book has been reprinted several times.

Mangelsen, Thomas D.  Story by Cara Shea Blessley1999.  Spirit of the Rockies: The Mountain Lions of Jackson Hole.  Omaha, Nebraska: Images of Nature.  64 pp.  For 42 days early in 1999, a mother cougar and her three seven-month old kittens inhabited a den on a butte within 100 yards of a road that runs through the National Elk Refuge near the border of Grand Teton National Park.  As the word spread, hundreds of viewers, armed with binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras, showed up to witness the rare spectacle of a cougar family living in the wild.  One of them was Tom Mangelsen, a noted wildlife photographer.  During the same period of time, the first wolves showed up in the refuge.  Magnificent photos of the cougars, wolves and other wildlife and their story, told by Blessley.

McCall, Karen, and Jim Dutcher.  1992.  Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies.  San Francisco: Sierra Club.  146 pp.  Working with Maurice Hornocker, wildlife photographer Dutcher enclosed a five-acre piece of beautiful Rocky Mountain country with a ten-foot-high fence and introduced a pregnant female puma of captive origin named Katrina.  For the next two years he recorded Katrina and her kittens on film.  Superb photos.


Deer Impacts on Forests

Buck, John.  2010.  Buck meets doe.  Northern Woodlands, Nov. 15, 2010. 
http://northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/buck-meets-doe  The breeding biology of white-tailed deer in Vermont--why they are so prolific and why deer hunting seasons are scheduled in November.

Bodin, Madeline.  2010.  Too many whitetails?  Northern Woodlands, November 22nd, 2010.  http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/too-many-white-tails  Focuses on the northeastern states.

deCalesta, David S. 1997. Deer, ecosystem damage, and sustaining forest resources. In Deer as Public Goods and Public Nuisance: Issues and Policy Options in Maryland, ed. Bruce L. Gardner, pp. 29-37. College Park, MD: Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Policy, October 27. http://mdagnrpolicy.arec.umd.edu/Conferences/Deer-Management-in-Maryland/decalesta.htm

Deer Impacts Blog maintained by Dr. Tom Rooney of Wright State University - http://deerimpacts.blogspot.com/

Frye, Bob.  2006.  Deer wars: science, tradition, and the battle over managing whitetails in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA.  310 pp.  A well-written account of the ecological and political implications of deer overpopulation.

Miller, Scott G., Susan P. Bratton, and John Hadidian.  1992.  Impacts of white-tailed deer on endangered and threatened vascular plants.  Natural Areas Journal 12(2):67-74.  pdf 634KB

Miller, B.F., T.A. Campbell, B.R. Laseter,  W.M. Ford and K.V. Miller. 2010.  A test of localized management for reducing white-tailed deer herbivory in central Appalachian regeneration sites.  Journal of Wildlife Management 74:370-378.

Miller, B.F., T.A. Campbell, W.M. Ford and K.V. Miller. 2009.  White-tailed deer herbivory and timber harvesting rates: implications for regeneration success.  Forest Ecology and Management 258:1067-1072.  ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/32940/1/IND44252717.pdf

Rawinski, Thomas J.  2008.  Impacts of white-tailed deer overabundance in forest ecosystems: an overview.  Northeastern State and Private Forestry, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Newtown Square, PA. http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/special_interests/white_tailed_deer.pdf

Rooney, Thomas P.  2010  What do we do with too many white-tailed-deer?  Action Bioscience, March 2010.  http://www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity/rooney.html

Staedter, Tracy.  2005.  Deer decreasing forest bird population.  Scientific American, October 31, 2005.  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=deer-decreasing-forest-bi

Taverna, Kristin, Robert K. Peet and Laura C. Phillips.  2005.  Long-term change in ground-layer vegetation of deciduous forests of the North Carolina Piedmont, USA.  Journal of Ecology 93:202-213. pdf 164KB

DVDs and Videos:

There is no substitute for seeing cougars in motion and hearing their vocalizations.  Used VHS videos are available from dealers through amazon.com and alibiris.com at low prices.


Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies.   1993 & 2005.  DVD and VHS (used).  The content is similar to the book of the same name (see Cougars Up Close section above), with the addition of a prologue in which noted cougar biologist Maurice Hornocker, past ECF President Jay Tischendorf, and Kerry Murphy tree and retrieve a radio-collared cougar.  DVD an be ordered from ExploratonFilms.com - http://www.explorationfilms.com/exploration-films-cougar.html and other online merchants.  Used VHS videos can be purchased through amazon.com.

Lords of Nature:  Joining Will Stolzenburg’s Where the Wild Things Were and Joel Berger’s The Better to Eat You With, the popularization of predator ecology studies now includes a documentary film, Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators. The 60 minute film presents the impact restored predators have on ecosystems long suffering from their absence.  Including interviews with Oregon State ecology researchers Bill Ripple and Bob Beschta documenting the recovery of riparian corridors with the return of wolves to Yellowstone and cougars to Zion, the film touches on the evolution of ecology studies from Aldo Leopold’s backyard in rural Wisconsin to the brutal lesson he learned by helping to exterminate predators from the Kaibab Plateau.  The DVD is available for $19.95 at http://www.lordsofnature.org/  Also see the ECF newsletters for June 2009 - http://www.easterncougar.org/newltr_pdf/ecfnew_june09.pdf - and December 2009-Part 1- http://www.easterncougar.org/newltr_pdf/ecfnew_dec09.pdf

On Nature’s Terms: People and Predators Co-Existing in Harmony.  2001.  DVD, 25 minutes.  Shown on PBS and suitable for schools and organizations, this excellent program features prominent biologists and predator advocates--and the carnivores themselves.  Co-existence issues such as minimizing depredation of livestock and protecting habitat and dispersal corridors are presented in positive manner.  Although it's focused on the West, the program may excite you about the prospects of restoring large mammals in the East and protecting and even creating the wildlands that they will need to survive. Copies are $20.00 and can be ordered online or by sending a check made out to WildFutures to the following address:  WildFutures/EII, Attn: Sharon Negri, 353 Wallace Way, NE Suite 12, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Puma: Lion of the Andes.  1996.  National Geographic.  Available on DVD and VHS (used).  Photographer Hugh Miles and an assistant located a young female puma’s sporadically used den and after 3 ½ months, habituated her and followed her life for two years.  The setting is the awesome scenery of Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile.  The puma’s principal prey is the guanaco, a native wild camel, and hares.  Deer apparently do not occur here.  We see these animals going about their lives, as well as the gray fox (not the same species as North America’s gray fox), and the magnificent Andean condor, which scavenges puma kills.  The pumas here are quite large, and interestingly, their kittens do not have spots.

Trail of the Cougar.  2002.  Nature Video Library (PBS).  Co-Production of Thirteen/WNET New York and National Geographic Television in association with Trebitsch Produktion International GMBH.  VHS video only, can be purchased from www.thirteen.org.   An excellent overview of the problems cougars and humans face, trying to survive as development increasingly intrudes on cougar habitat.  Filmed on Vancouver Island, the Rockies, and in Florida.  Includes scenes of the mother and kittens that lived on the National Elk Refuge early in 1999 (See Spirit of the Rockies in the Cougars Up Close section above.)

Field Guides to Tracks and Other Sign:

Cougar Network.  Puma Field Guide.  Can be downloaded from www.cougarnet.org.  In addition to sign, it includes biological considerations, general life history, identification, assessment, and management.  Authors include Harley Shaw, Paul Beier, Melanie Culver, and Melissa Grigione.

Defenders of Wildlife.  2008.  Florida Panther Identification Guide, 18 pp. Excellent color photos, many by ECF Science Advisor Sue Morse.  Can be downloaded from http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/florida_panther/

Belden, Robert C.  1978.  How to recognize panther tracks.  Proc. Ann. Conf. S.E. Assoc. Fish & Wildl. Agencies 32:112-115.  Download here.

Florida Panthers:

Alderson, Doug.  2010.  Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife.  University Press of Florida.  192 pages. 
In search of the rare, the exotic, and the possibly extinct.  Combining adventure, natural history, and cultural history, Encounters with Florida’s Endangered Wildlife features chapters tracking panthers, black bears, whooping cranes, manatees, sea turtles, even ivory-billed woodpeckers—which may or may not be extinct. Join Doug Alderson as he travels into prairies, woods, springs, and ocean to come face to face with these and other captivating creatures and learns firsthand about their strangled lives and fragile habitats.

Alvarez, Ken.  1993.  Twilight of the Panther: Biology, Bureaucracy and Failure in an Endangered Species Program.  Sarasota, Florida: Myakka River Publishing.  501 pp.  From the back cover:  “The Inside Story of a Vanishing Cat:  Incompetence, waste and inexcusable delays are often the poorly seen features of endangered species programs in the United States. That is the conclusion to be drawn from this analysis of efforts to save the Florida panther, and from a review of three other programs: the California condor, the black-footed ferret and the dusky seaside sparrow. The government agencies given responsibility for these enterprises frequently lack the organizational flexibility, and the will, to intervene effectively in arresting the decline of small, endangered populations. After years of bumbling they show no sign of mending their ways. Unfortunately, environmental organizations sometimes appeal for donations to aid these beleaguered creatures while doing little or nothing to relieve the bureaucratic rigidity that threatens them. Twilight of the Panther reveals the details of this little known bureaucratic dysfunction and offers prescriptions for correcting them.”  Fortunately, definite progress has been made in the recovery of the panther, condor, black-footed ferret, but problems remain.

Belden, R. C. and J.W. McCown. 1996. Florida panther reintroduction feasibility study. Fla. Game and Fresh Water Fish Comm., Bur. Wildl. Res. Final Rep. 70pp. pdf 1.85MB

Fergus, Charles. 1998.   Swamp Screamer: At Large with the Florida Panther.  Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida.  208 pp.  Fergus is a resident of Pennsylvania who went south to learn about the panther.  His work complements Maehr’s book.  Contains information on cougars in general.  The title needs explaining.  Fergus has observed panthers “screaming” both in the wild and in captivity.  But screaming is probably not the best word to describe the sound.  Here’s what he says about the calling of a wild female in heat:  “Yowwwwwl!  The cry was sharp and descending.  Yowwwwwwwwwl!  Like a street cat’s caterwaul, but throatier and much louder.”  (Page 6). Also see http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1996-05-12/entertainment/9605100434_1_panther-belden-real-florida

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge: Panther Updates.  Go here to download the monthly updates:  http://www.fws.gov/floridapanther/pantherupdate.html

Jacobson, Susan K., Cynthia Langin, J. Stuart Carlton and Lynda Lee Kaid.  2011.  Content analysis of newspaper coverage of the Florida panther.  Conservation Biology.  Article first published online: 6 Oct 2011. 
Maehr, David S.  1997. The Florida Panther: Life and Death of a Vanishing Carnivore.  Washington, DC: Island Press.  259 pp.  Well written account by a notable panther biologist on the habits and politics of the Florida panther.

Maehr, D.S., M.J. Kelly, C. Bolgiano, T. Lester, and H. McGinnis. 2003. Eastern cougar recovery is linked to the Florida panther: Cardoza and Langlois revisited. Wildlife Society Bulletin 31: 849-853.  A response to the previous article by Cardoza and Langlois, calling for reintroduction of Florida panthers outside their present range and the active involvement of private interest groups. 

Maehr, D.S.  2002.  Dispersal and colonization of the Florida Panther: Overcoming landscape barriers—biological and political,  In Fascione et al.  People and Predators… in the Cougar Attacks and Co-Existence section of this bibliography.

Maehr, David S., Michael A. Orlando, and John J. Cox2005.  Large carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores in South Florida: an evolutionary approach to conserving landscapes and biodiversity, in Ray et al. Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity described in the Cougars and Biodiversity section of this bibliography.

Naples Daily News has a Florida panther section where you can access their excellent news articles and also the latest newsletters issued by the Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge - http://www.naplesnews.com/news/florida_panthers/

Ray, Janisse.  2005.  Pinhook: finding wholeness in a fragmented land.  Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River Junction, Vermont.  155 pp.  Pinhook is a large block of forest and swamp between the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Georgia and the Osceola National Forest in northern Florida.  Together, these three areas comprise the Great Okefenokee Ecosystem, a prime area for reintroduction of  Florida panthers outside their present constricted range in southern Florida.  This is a beautifully written little book on the land, the wildlife and the people who live on the fringes of Pinhook.

Robinson, Michael J.  2011.  Petition for rule making: reintroduction of the endangered Florida panther.  Center for Biological Diversity, Pinos Altos, New Mexico.  42 pp.

Thatcher, Cindy A., Frank T. Van Manen, and Joseph D. Clark.  2006.  Identifying suitable sites for Florida panther reintroduction,  Journal of Wildlife Management 70(3): 752-763

Thatcher, C.A., F.T. van Manen and J. D. Clark.  2009.  A habitat assessment for Florida panther population expansion into central Florida.  Journal of Mammalogy: 90(4):918-925.  Go here for an abstract: http://www.asmjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1644/08-MAMM-A-219.1. For a complete copy of the article, request a pdf copy from co-author J.D. Clark - jclark1@utk.edu.

US Fish and Wildlife Service.  2008.  Florida Panther Recovery Plan, December 2008.  233 pages.  Click here pdf 1.64 MB

US Fish & Wildlife Service.  May 18, 2011.  [Denial of petition to reintroduce Florida panthers to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and nearby suitable lands in south Georgia and north Florida.]  Letter from Cynthia K. Dohner, Regional Director, to Michael J. Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.Click here pdf 309KB

Wlodarski, Loran.  2010.  Felina’s new home.  See review in Children’s Bookssection

Wilkins, Laurie, Julio M. Arias-Reveron, Bradley Stith, Melody E. Roelke, and Robert C. Belden.  1997.  The Florida panther Puma concolor coryi: A morphological investigation of the subspecies with a comparison to other North and South American cougars.  Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 40(3):221-296.

Visit the Genetics section of this Bibliography for more articles on Florida panthers.


Anderson, Allen E.  1983. A Critical Review of Literature on Puma (Felis concolor). Colorado Division of Wildlife, Wildlife Research Section, Special Report Number 54. 91 pp. A technical summary of published research up to 1983, including evolution and taxonomy, movements and activity, prey species and interactions, nutrition requirements, mortality factors, longevity, causes of mortality, and management. The author concludes that pumas may occur in the southeastern US outside of Florida and in New Brunswick. Extensive bibliography. Out of print; available in some research libraries.

Barnes, Claude T.  1960. The Cougar or mountain lion.  Salt Lake City, Utah: Ralton. 176 pp.  Barnes gives many interesting historical details about cougars, such as the animal’s many names, and recounts many stories.  On page 63 he says he personally handled  a black cougar pelt.   However, several people, including Jay Tischendorf and Helen McGinnis, have tried to locate it without success.  Since no solid black cougars have been documented, the pelt’s past and present existence is dubious.  This is a very rare book.

Bolgiano, Chris1995.  Mountain Lion: An Unnatural History of Pumas and People.  Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books.  209 pp.  A history and contemporary overview of cougars in North America, integrating biology, folklore, and human psychology in a literary style.

Danz, Harold P. 1999.  Cougar. Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 310 pp. Strong points include discussion of cougar-human encounters resulting from human encroachment into cougar habitat. Brief accounts of fatal and nonfatal attacks on humans up to 1998. He gives  controversial recommendations for future management and prognosis for the cougar. Entertaining chapter on professional cougar hunters of the 17th to early 20th centuries. Information on status of cougars in all states and Canadian provinces. He is inclined to believe cougars occur in the East, but his references are mostly prior to 1980.

Hansen, Kevin.  1992.  Cougar: The American Lion. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing, Published in Association with the Mountain Lion Foundation. 129 pp.  Comprehensive compilation of scientific research on taxonomy, biology, behavior, and interactions with humans, written in clear and accessible language.  PROBABLY STILL THE BEST INTRODUCTION TO COUGARS FOR GENERAL READERS.  Out of print.  Can be downloaded free from the Mountain Lion Foundation's website - http://www.mountainlion.org/publications.asp

Hornocker, Maurice, and Sharon Negri (editors).  Cougar: Ecology & Conservation. 2009.  University of Chicago Press, Chicago.  306 pp.  This book is a must-have for everyone seriously interested in cougars.  Peter Matthiessen says, "Cougar is a mighty compendium by twenty-two cougar authorities who share considerable first-hand experiences in the field. A very important contribution, this book will surely take its place as the definitive work on this fascinating, beautiful, and ever elusive animal." The editors were selected as the 2010 recipients of the Wildlife Publications Award - Outstanding Edited Book Category.

Logan, Kenneth A., and Linda L. Sweanor.  2001. Desert Puma: Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation of an Enduring Carnivore.  Washington, DC: Island Press.  463 pp.  During their marathon ten-year study this husband and wife team radio-collared 241 pumas and logged nearly 14,000 radio-locations in the San Andres Mountains of New Mexico.  Much more than an account southwestern pumas, it considers all major studies in the United States and Canada and includes discussions of the puma’s fossil history and the use of DNA analysis.  This technical book is not an easy read, but is a must for anyone with a serious interest in Puma concolor.

Shaw, Harley.  1989.  Soul Among Lions: The Cougar as Peaceful Adversary. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, 140 pp. Shaw’s experience as a state wildlife researcher radio-tracking mountain lions in Arizona with dogs, the knowledge that he gained from it, and his perceptions of lion hunters, guides, ranchers, environmentalists and wildlife agency bureaucrats are invaluable for anyone interested in the science of cougar study.

Tinsley, Jim Bob.  1987.  The Puma, Legendary Lion of the Americas.  El Paso:  University of Texas, 142 pp.  Illustrated with contemporary photos and reproductions of historical prints, Tinsley's book comprehensively reviews the folklore and history of cougars, including a chapter on black cougars with a photograph of a carcass in Costa Rica.


Genetics, DNA Analysis and Classification:

Culver, M., P.W. Hedrick, K. Murphys, S. O'Brien and M.G. Hornocker.  2008.  Estimation of the bottleneck size in Florida panthers.  Animal Conservation 104(11):104-110.  Zoological Society of London

Culver, Melanie, W.E. Johnson, J. Pecon-Slattery, and S.J. O’Brien.  2000.  Genomic ancestry of the American puma (Puma concolor).  Journal of Heredity 91(3):186-197.  A landmark study of genetics of 31 cougar subspecies.  Five eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) museum samples (from NY, PA, Quebec, RI, and WV) were found with viable DNA.  Culver concludes that there is no basis for maintaining the traditional cougar subspecies taxonomy, and recommends collapsing them to six subspecies, including one for all cougars north of Nicaragua.  Because of the extremely small sample size for the subspecies traditionally called the eastern cougar, it is unlikely that any genetic profile can ever be created to distinguish this subspecies from others. Click here for a pdf copy(1.6MB) of the article. See Culver's maps of traditional and proposed new cougar taxonomy on left margin.

Culver, Melanie.  2005.  Genetic variation, gene flow, and population identification for North American pumas. Pp. 142-149 In  The Eastern Cougar.  See complete citation under Cougars in Eastern and Central North America above.  A summary of Culver’s findings for the general reader.

Culver, Melanie.  DNA and the origin of the North American puma.  Wild Cat News, December 2005.  Can be downloaded from the Publications section of the Cougar Network’s website, www.cougarnet.org.  Another popular summary of Culver’s DNA research.

Goldman, Edward A.  1946.  Classification of the Races of the Puma.  Part II of The Puma: Mysterious American Cat by Stanley P. Young and Edward A. Goldman.  Washington, DC, The American Wildlife Institute, 358 pp.  Reissued as a paperback by Dover.  Although based on outdated science, Goldman’s classification and assumed 31 subspecies are still mentioned in documents as recently as the Draft Recovery Plan for the Florida Panther in 2005.  It describes the pelage and has excellent plates showing representative skulls of  30 assumed subspecies.  Although Culver determined that all North American cougars belong to a single subspecies, there are definite regional differences in puma populations in different parts of the continent.

Hostetler, Jeffrey A., David P. Onorato, James D. Nichols, Warren E. Johnson, Melody E. Roelke, Stephen J. O'Brien, Deborah Jansen, Madan K. Oli.  2010.  Genetic introgression and the survival of Florida panther kittens.  2010.  Biological Conservation 143 (2010):2789-2796.

Johnson, Warren E., David P. Onorato, Melody E. Roelke, E. Darrell Land, Mark Cunningham, Robert C. Belden, Roy McBride, Deborah Jansen, Mark Lotz, David Shindle, JoGayle Howard, David E. Wildt, Linda M. Penfold, Jeffrey A. Hostetler, Madan K. Oli, and Stephen J. O'Brien.  2010.  Genetic restoration of the Florida panther.  Science 329 (24 Sept. 2010, 1641-1645.  For the abstract, click here - http://www.sciencemag.org/content/329/5999/1641.short . For a pdf copy of the complete article, contact Warren Johnson, warjohns@mail.nih.gov 

O’Brien, Stephen J.  2003.  Tears of the cheetah: the genetic secrets of our animal ancestors.  Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Griffin, New York.  287 pp.  DNA analysis is daunting to most of us because we do not have backgrounds in modern genetics.  But O’Brien, head of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institutes, National Institutes of Health, manages to convey his enthusiasm for uncovering the genetics of animals and humans, just as good writers of detective stories have done.  He is especially interested in cats.  The cheetah has tears because it has almost no genetic diversity; O’Brien explains why this lack is a bad thing for the cheetah.  We also learn why it was necessary to import Texas pumas to augment the diversity of the Florida panther.  Highly recommended.


Habitat and Dispersal Studies in Central and Eastern
North America:

Hauck, K. 2000. Prey and Habitat Availability to Support a Cougar  (Puma concolor) Population in the Whiskey Jack Forest (Kenora Management Unit). M. Sc. Forestry. Thesis. Faculty of Forestry, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. 78 pp. (Advisor: D. Euler, PhD).

Henaux, V., L.A. Powell, K.A. Hobson, C.K. Nielsen, and M.A. LaRue. 2011. Tracking large carnivore dispersal using isotopic clues in claws: an application to cougars across the Great Plains.  Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2(5):489-499.

Houser, Rhonda S.  2002.  The use of geographic information systems to model habitat for Puma concolor cougar [sic] in the northern Blue Ridge of Virginia.  MS Thesis.  Richmond, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University. 

LaRue, Michelle A., and Clayton K. Nielsen.  2008. Modelling potential dispersal corridors for cougars in midwestern North America using least-cost path methods.  Ecological Modelling 212 (2008):372-381. 

LaRue, Michelle A., and Clayton K. Nielsen.  2011.  Modelling potential habitat for cougars in midwestern North America.  Ecological Modelling 222 (2011): 987-900.

LaRue, Michelle A., C.K. Nielsen, M. Dowling, K. Miller, B. Wilson, H. Shaw and C.R. Anderson, Jr.  2012.  Cougars are recolonizing the Midwest: analysis of cougar confirmations during 1990-2008.  Journal of Wildlife Management.   DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.396 

McGinnis, Helen.  2012.  Cougar mortalities in central North America and the evidence against recolonization east of the prairie colonies.  Cougar Rewilding Foundation newsletter, June 2012: 1-9.  http://www.easterncougar.org/newltr_pdf/crfnew_June12.pdf

Smith, Julia B. 2013. Recolonization of the Midwestern United States by Large Carnivores: Habitat Suitability and Human Dimensions. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 

Taverna, Kristin, et al.  1999.  Eastern Cougar (Puma concolor couguar):  Habitat suitability analysis for the central Appalachians. Charlottesville, VA:  Appalachian Restoration Campaign.  23 pp.  Uses four parameters -- land cover, deer density, road density, and human population density to analyze potential cougar habitat in the central Appalachians. 2,437 kb, 27 pages (large PDF).  See map on left margin.

Thompson, Daniel J., and Jonathan A. Jenks.  2005.  Long-distance dispersal by a subadult male cougar from the Black Hills, South Dakota.  Journal of Wildlife Management 69(2):818-820


Bruce, Jay C., Sr.  Cougar Killer. 1953.  Reprinted in 2007 in Silver City, New Mexico: High-Lonesome Books.  172 pp.  Bruce was California’s first official cougar hunter, a position he held for 28 years.  He grew up poor in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains.  Cougar killing was a job to him—so many dollars per carcass.  A look the past and the attitudes toward cougars in the early 1900s.

Danz, Harold P. Cougar.  Much information on noted cougar hunters of the past.  More under General above.

Dunlap, Thomas R.  1988.  Saving America's Wildlife: Ecology and the American Mind: 1850-1990.  Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.  222 pp.  Dunlap traces the evolution of American thinking toward wildlife during this period, especially concerning wolves and coyotes.  Cougars are not mentioned to any extent, but attitudes toward cougars are similar to those toward wolves.

Dobie, J. Frank.  1950.  The Ben Lilly Legend.  Reprinted by University of Texas Press, Austin in 2007.  Lilly was born in Alabama and grew up in east Tennessee.  What he loved above all was hunting cougars and bears.  Studying these animals always meant killing them.  More than any other person, he was probably responsible for eliminating them from the lowlands of east Tennessee and adjacent parts of Mississippi.  From there he moved to the Big Thicket of Texas and continued his campaign, and then on to the Southwest and Mexico.  If any one person was responsible for exterminating the grizzly of the Southwest, it was Lilly.  He was articulate and soft-spoken but eccentric.  He never hunted on Sundays, even if he was in the middle of a chase.  His hounds were famous, but if one failed to perform, he might beat it to death in front of his other dogs to teach them a lesson.

Flader, Susan L.  1974 (with a preface written in 1994).  Thinking Like a Mountain: Aldo Leopold and the Evolution of an Ecological Attitude toward Deer, Wolves and Forests.  University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin.  284 pp. 
"We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."  Many of us have read these words, originally published in A Sand County Almanac, so often that we've nearly memorized them.  But in the 1920s, Leopold believed that wolves and cougars should be eliminated to save the deer and deer hunting.  This book traces the evolution of his thinking.  Toward the end of his life, he became a wildlife commissioner in Wisconsin and became deeply embroiled in deer management issues--issues that continue to crop up in many states.

Grey, Zane.  1922 & 1924.  Roping Lions in the Grand Canyon.  Tom Doherty Associates LLC (www.tor.com), New York, reprinted in 1996.  154 pp.  A true account of a 1908 adventure. Grey and three companions, one of them a Navajo, a pack of hounds, and their horses ascend isolated Powell Plateau on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Their purpose: capturing cougars alive by lassoing them.  Some readers will take this story as intended—an adventure in the awesome country of the Grand Canyon.  But the saga is a product of its time, so others will be dismayed at the cruelty and racism.

Nowak, Ronald M.  1976.  The Cougar in the United States and Canada.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Gives a state by state history of cougars.  An invaluable reference for cougar confirmations in central and eastern North America up to 1976. Not published.  190 pp.

Robinson, Michael J.  2005.  Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West.  Boulder, Colorado; University Press of Colorado.  473 pp.  Focused on the federal government’s successful campaign to exterminate wolves in the West.  Cougars and coyotes were also on the extermination list but survived.  The head of the campaign waged by the Bureau of Biological Survey (now the US Fish & Wildlife Service) was Stanley Young, author of The Puma.  Continues the story up to the passage of the Endangered Species Act and reintroduction of wolves.  Fascinating.

Young, Stanley P.  1946.  The Puma: Mysterious American Cat, Part I: Its History, Life Habits, Economic Status, and Control by Stanley P. Young and Edward A. Goldman.  Washington, DC, The American Wildlife Institute.  358 pp.  Reissued as a paperback by Dover.  For many years, this was the only comprehensive work on cougars.  It still contains valuable information on the status and extirpation of cougars in the various states and Canadian provinces.  Much emphasis is place on control, which was the main concern prior to the 1960s, when most states removed bounties from cougars and reclassified them as big game animals.


Hunting Cougars:

Cameron, Del.1999.  Call of the Hounds: An Intimate Look at Lion and Bear Hunting with Hounds.  Stevensville, Montana: Burnt Fork Publishing.  270 pp. This book is a favorite with hound hunters.  Cameron hunted bear and cougars in Montana, Idaho and southern Arizona and New Mexico from the 1940s into the 1960s..  Whether or not you find this book enjoyable will probably depend on whether you like the idea of sport hunting of cougars.

Laundré, John and Tim W. Clark.  2003.  Managing puma hunting in the western United States: through a metapopulation approach.  Animal Conservation 6:159-170.  This approach has been adopted for trophy hunting of leopards in South Africa but has been ignored by state and provincial wildlife agencies in the western United States or Canada.

Also see books in the Historical section.

Management; Political and Social Considerations:

Alvarez, Ken.  Twilight of the Panther: Biology, Bureaucracy and Failure in an Endangered Species Program.  See details in the Florida Panthers section.

Beier, Paul, and Reginald H. Barrett.  1993.  The cougar in the Santa Ana Mountain Range, California.  Final Report, Orange County Cooperative Mountain Lion Study, June 1, 1993.  102 pp. 
On pages 56-57, the authors conclude, "Most cougar sightings are bogus and do not need validating.  In our experience during 1988-1992, at least 75% and perhaps as many as 95% of the routine sightings were cases where the observer has misidentified a bobcat, coyote, domestic dog, domestic cat, raccoon, or deer."  They give three specific examples.  If people who live in cougar range are unable to distinguish cougars from other animals, we'd expect that people who are in areas where they have been absent for at least 100 years are even less qualified to identify them.

Cougar Management Guidelines Working Group.  2005.  Cougar Management Guidelines, First Edition.  Bainbridge Island, Washington; WildFutures.  137 pp.  Intended to be the bible for wildlife managers, co-written by a large group of cougar experts.  Much valuable information on cougar-prey relationships, habitat requirements, assessing populations, livestock depredation, sport hunting, and minimizing cougar-human conflict.

Davenport, Mae A., Clayton K. Nielsen and Jean C. Mangun.  2010.  Attitudes toward mountain lion management in the Midwest: implications for a potentially recolonizing large predator.  Human Dimensions of Wildlife 15(5):373-388.  The abstract of the article is here - http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a927470025~db=all~jumptype=rss
You may request a pdf copy of the entire article from the lead author, Mae Davenport, mdaven@umn.edu

Jenks, Jonathan A., Hilary S. Cooley and Michael R. Conover (editors).  2011.  Managing cougars in North America.  Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Cougar Working Group and Jack H. Berryman Institute, Utah State University & Mississippi State University.  Berryman Institute Press, Logan, Utah 84322.  200 pp.  Copies can be purchased from Jack H. Berryman Institute Press, Utah State University, 5270 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84321-5270.  Email hwi@aggiemail.usu.edu for the price.

This book updates Cougar Management Guidelines, issued in 2005.

Maehr, David S., Reed F. Noss, and Jeffery L. Larkin (editors).. 2001.  Large Mammal Restoration: Ecological and Sociological Challenges in the 21st Century.  Washington, DC; Island Press, 375 pp.  Scientists discuss the challenges of reintroducing large carnivores such as wolves, wolverine, tigers, and grizzlies and ungulates such as elk, white-tailed deer and bighorn sheep.  Includes “The Florida panther: a flagship for regional restoration,” by Maehr, Thomas S. Hoctor and Larry D. Harris.

Robinson, Michael J.  Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West.  See description under the Historical heading.



Koryta, Michael.  2011.  The Ridge.  Little, Brown & Company, New York.  357 pp.

Koryta is in the same genre as Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  His seven previous books have won several awards.  The Ridge takes us to the mountains of eastern Kentucky.  A sanctuary for unwanted big cats is moving in.  The owners are friends of the very real Joe Taft, founder and director of the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana - http://www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org/home.html .  Right next door, a confirmed alcoholic has built a wooden lighthouse for unknown reasons.  Over the decades, several people have died, and others have survived when they should have died.  The sanctuary has a genuine black cougar, determined to be North American by DNA analysis.  Romance and a mysterious blue light are included in the mix.  Everything is nicely tied together at the end. 

Lawrence, R.D.  1990.  The White Puma.  Henry Holt & Company, New York.  329 pages.  A white cougar is relentless hunted by two illegal hunters in the mountains of British Columbia.  A very good read. 

Rochat, Florian.  2009.  Cougar Corridor (in French).  Paperback, 235 pages.  Publisher: Le Passage. (In French).  The plot: A desolate homestead in Montana, one fine summer’s morning…  A sudden scream in the still air, the shadow of an animal vanishing without a sound, and the corpse of young Phil Bardgett, a big red hole where his face used to be  Michael Dupuis suspects something. Cougars are plentiful in the region, but the wild open spaces vital for their survival are disappearing, just like the lands of his Indian ancestors, long ago… But what could have driven one of these wild beasts to look for prey in the back yard of a house?  Things begin to move very quickly: Michael’s friend Julie Bouchard, a French ecologist, is more determined than ever to implement her project of creating corridors that will keep humans and predators well apart…  But it won’t be long before she herself has a brush with the worst kind of death.  After all, her initiative is getting in the way of a powerful property developer… Cougar Corridormay well be the only novel so far dedicated to cougars and the critical issue of wildlife habitat.  It was enthusiastically reviewed in the December 2009-Part 1 issue of the ECF’s newsletter - http://www.easterncougar.org/newltr_pdf/ecfnew_dec09.pdf  It can be purchased from the Canadian branch of amazon.com – amazon.caWe hope that this book will soon be published in English and Spanish

Recolonization and Reintroduction

Also see section on Habitat and Dispersal studies.

Mazzolli, Marcelo.  2012.  Natural recolonization and suburban presence of pumas (Puma concolor) in Brazil.  Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment.
Download from http://uniplac.net/~puma/Mazzolli_JENE-2012.pdf
Cougars have recolonized southern and southeastern Brazil since the 1970s. 
This recovery is one of the few instances where cougars have reclaimed lost territories.  They have also recovered in five areas along the eastern front of the Rockies in North America,

Wildlife Management Reform

Who Owns the Wildlife? by Cougar Rewilding vice president John Laundre

Urban Wildlife Coalition website and Facebook 

Federal Excise Taxes on Hunting and Cougar Restoration by Ben Shrader, in the November 2010 issue of Cougar Rewilding's newsletter

Keefover, Wendy.  May 2012.  Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves: A Public Policy Process Failure How Two Special Interest Groups Hijacked Wolf Conservation in America.  WildEarth Guardians, 46 pp.

Last Update Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:18 AM

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