A Busy Week

This week we had the opportunity to gather samples from several animals.  On Thursday, we captured B294 near Westlake and Hillcrest.  Although she appeared quite young and small, this bobcat turned out to be an adult female weighing nearly 13 pounds.  We were able to fit her with a GPS-capable radiocollar.  So, this radiocollar will connect with satellites at regularly scheduled intervals.  We are always excited to radiocollar females because we can learn about bobcat reproduction.  Right now is the bobcat mating season, and so in a few months, our newly collared female may settle down to den and have kittens. 

On Friday, on my way to give a talk to a group of highschool students at Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles (YULA), I got a call that a bobcat died in Will Rogers State Park, and a State Park Ranger kindly called to report the incident.  He was unsure the cause of death, and so contacted us to see if we were interested to pick up the bobcat and gather samples to learn what we could of this individual.  I picked up the bobcat and only several hours later after giving my talk was I able to examine the bobcat.  This bobcat was VERY emaciated, and had mild mange on it's face and all four paws. The bobcat was an adult female, weighing only 5.5 pounds.  She weighed less than half of a healthy bobcat weight for her body size.  Obviously, her extreme emaciation contributed to her death.  We are currently writing grants to test our bobcats for anticoagulant exposure.  Once we secure additional funds, we will be testing her liver to see what anticoagulants she was exposed to.

Finally, to finish off the week, we caught a mountain lion!  P13 was recaptured near Kanan and Mulholland on National Park Service property.  She looked healthy and weighed in at 75 pounds.  This weight is typical of adult female mountain lions in our study area.  We have been working to recapture her for more than 6 months.  Her radiocollar stopped working prematurely, and because she had kittens in May, 2010 that were still with her until recently, we had to be careful in our efforts to recapture her.  However, we were finally successful, and so we are excited to have her "back on the air."  Her radiocollar not only emits a VHF signal we can locate with radio-recievers, but we her radiocollar also has GPS-capabilities AND the collar will automatically be uploaded to a website where we can follow her locations from our desks!  We are essentially getting real-time data, since the collar records the location of P13 nine times a day.