Great Basin Naturalist


Road track surveys were a poor index of cougar density in southern Utah. The weak relationship we found between track finding frequency and cougar density undoubtedly resulted in part from the fact that available roads do not sample properly from the nonuniformly distributed cougar population. However, the significantly positive relationship (r2 = .73) we found between track-finding frequency and number of cougar home ranges crossing the survey road suggested the technique may be of use in monitoring cougar populations where road abundance and location allow the population to be sampled properly. The amount of variance in track-finding frequency unexplained by number of home ranges overlapping survey roads indicates the index may be useful in demonstrating only relatively large changes in cougar population size.