Date of this Version
We described mountain lion (Puma concolor) habitat characteristics during two studies in the same area of northeastern Oregon during the 1990s. In the first study (1992-1994) we evaluated micro-habitat features associated with 61 diurnal bed sites that were not associated with kills. We used similar techniques in the second study (1996- 1998) to evaluate habitat features at 79 cache sites near lion-killed prey. A dog was used to find 93% of the diurnal bed sites. Radio telemetry triangulation was used in the second study. Characteristics of diurnal bed sites and cache sites were compared with random habitat plots. Rock structure and downed logs were identified as important habitat components at diurnal bed sites. Canopy cover at cache sites was significantly higher than at random sites. Cache sites also were associated with rock structure, but not to the same degree as diurnal bed sites. In both studies mountain lions used sites in close proximity to habitat edges more frequently than expected based on random plots. Understanding the similarities and differences of habitat use at diurnal bed, cache and kill sites sheds light on the ecological adaptation of mountain lions to the multiple environmental influences and disturbances of managed forests.