Male offspring of ‘super mama’ P1 collared before he disperses

Male offspring of ‘super mama’ P1 collared before he disperses

Say Hello! to P19, the male offspring of P1, Sonoma’s Super Mama and P5, the resident male in the area. The Living with Lions team captured and collared P1’s 13-month-old offspring on Wednesday evening. Now known as P19, the young male looked healthy and well cared for by his mom. We’re grateful to have had a chance to collar him before he disperses. Our team on this collaring event included: Director and Principal Investigator Quinton Martins, veterinarian Graham Crawford, Bouverie Resource Ecologist Jennifer Potts, Research Associate Alex Hettena, and Research Technician Sheila McCarthy.

P19 marks the third of P1’s cubs (from three different litters) that we have collared. It was terrific to meet him again at close proximity after seeing him and his sibling for the first time on the 1st of August last year. He was only a week old then!!

He weighed in at a good 70lbs, has really cool, big paws which he still needs to grow into, but can see he was in very good condition, no doubt thanks to his mom who has been hunting for him all this time. We captured him after I saw signs of P1 having made a kill using the GPS data – I investigated the site and found she had killed a very large male deer (buck). Quite amazing to see how it was then dragged quite someway into dense bush as is typical of mountain lions to do. We then used the remains to bait a cage later that day and he went into the cage at 7.38pm. The capture went very smoothly. The landowners were fantastic allowing us to conduct this on their property!

It seems that his sister or brother did not make it as there is only one of the 2 cubs left over. We have not ruled out that P18, the Santa Rosa Mall cat could have been his sibling, but are still waiting for the genetic results. The age looked similar, and it was not too far from where P1 had been, though in reality it could easily have been another cat.

P1 has done really well in raising her offspring to dispersal age considering the challenges. This is the third litter of hers we have actively been able to track, and it will be fascinating to see where her male cub will go once he disperses from mom any day now. All her other offspring have died before reaching maturity due to conflicts with livestock.

We wish P19 safe travels through our collective backyards, good deer hunting and, hopefully, he’ll notice a marked increase in predator proof enclosures around the county to help steer him away from pets and livestock.