Colby Anton, PhD – The Yellowstone Cougar Project
Presented on August 20, 2020
Colby Anton is a native of the Bay Area of California and has been studying large carnivores for over a decade throughout the West. Since 2009, he has contributed to large predator research in Yellowstone National Park. For his dissertation research, he implemented a noninvasive genetic sampling project to estimate cougar populations in northern Yellowstone and deployed cutting edge tri-axial accelerometer collars to monitor cougar and gray wolf predatory behaviors. This collaborative research has contributed yet another piece to the growing knowledge base that surrounds the diverse Yellowstone ecological landscape.
Like most predators in western North America, cougars in the Yellowstone region suffered population declines following intensive eradication programs in the early 1900s. After a fifty-year absence, cougars re-emerged in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) in the 1980s. During this workshop, we will discuss key findings from nearly thirty years of cougar research that has shed light not only on their cryptic behavioral patterns and ecological relationships with other large mammals but also the cutting-edge technological advances employed to study large carnivores in the world’s first national park.