Pumas | UPSC
Pumas adapt behaviour to save energy for mountain survival: Study
WHY IN NEWS:
The new study conducted by Queen’s University in Belfast, UK
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity : IUCN : Flora and Fauna
For PRELIMS go through popuplation distribution and IUCN Status .
For MAINS do you think international efforts should focus such issues ?
Pumas, also known as mountain lions or cougars.
- They have an ability to assess their surrounding terrain.
- The cats travel more slowly while ascending or descending mountains to conserve energy.
- The areas that these animals move into, force them to use more energy and cause declines in their populations.
- The puma is the top feline predator in the Americas, along with the jaguar.
- However, its native range is diminishing due to increasing agriculture and urbanisation.
- The animals spent much of their time resting (60 per cent).
- Researchers also found that pumas traversed hillsides to decrease the angle that they climb.
- Pumas once ranged from the Pacific to the Atlantic, but they were eliminated from eastern North America within 200 years of colonization.
- Pumas are extremely athletic. They can run up to 50 mph (80 kph) and jump as high as 15 feet (4.6 meters).
- Pumas don’t roar.
- They use whistles, screams, squeaks and purrs to communicate.
- Though pumas are problems for ranchers or farmers, they have a very important role in the environment.
- They keep populations of animals lower down on the food chain in check.
- Puma habitat in California is predicted to diminish 35 per cent by 2030.
- Road collisions, fires and poaching of their wild prey are other threats.
- As a result, the animals are being forced to move into ‘the steepest and most energetically costly mountainous parts of their range’.