In an effort to better understand their behaviour, over $70,000 is being allocated towards a study on Okanagan cougars.
Thanks to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF), 40 local cougars will be fitted with GPS collars in a multi-year project.
Project leader Adam Ford said that the project is “B.C.’s most comprehensive cougar study to date”.
“Cougars are one of the most important predators in B.C. for mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and caribou. In spite of their high profile in B.C., we have very little information on the effects of cougar predation on prey distribution and survival, and the effects of human (e.g. road density, forestry) and natural (e.g. fire) landscape change on cougar habitat use.”
Nearly $1 million has been allocated towards Okanagan projects by the HCTF, including $40,400 to restore the riparian Black Cottonwood forests of the Kettle River Watershed, approximately $83,000 to study how Okanagan owl species are affected by large-scale wildfires, and $108,000 to implement the Lower Mission Creek restoration plan.