Cooperative Research Units
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Assessment of Abundance and Diet of Felids at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge


January 2008 - December 2017


Goal: The present abundance and distribution of pumas is unknown on Kofa NWR. Through examination of photographs and tracks, the refuge has determined that at least 5 individual pumas were present on the Kofa in 2006 (a female with 2 kittens and 2 males), but the population size and its impacts on desert bighorn sheep and mule deer is unknown. A population estimate is the first required piece of information for any future management decisions regarding pumas. Puma predation has been documented as limiting some small, isolated bighorn populations; this is a concern especially on Kofa NWR for bighorn sheep management. Bobcats have also been captured on remote cameras on the refuge; their abundance and prey selection is also unknown. Bobcats are capable of predating bighorn lambs and this is another concern for bighorn sheep management. DNA analysis of scat can potentially provide a way to identify individual pumas and bobcats and generate a reliable population estimate, and DNA from bone fragments found inside in scat can provide information on puma and bobcat prey selection.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



Funding Agencies

  • Arizona Game & Fish Dept.


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey