Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Animals in their Habitat: Mountain Lion

Animals in their habitat: Mountain Lions in the Tucson Mountains. With the exception of humans, the mountain lion has the largest range of any large terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. They are found from Canada to Argentina. They are also able to utilize the low desert as well as the higher elevations of the Catalina Mountains and the territories of individuals are huge. Although they may snack on prey a...s small as mice, their main target in the Tucson Mountains are Javelinas and mostly Mule Deer. A female lion with two grown kittens pretty regularly shows up at a water feature in the backyard of a friend who lives around Gates Pass (SE Tucson Mountains). Sadly, one was killed on Picture Rocks Road some years ago - that's only a couple of miles from our house, but I've never seen tracks on our property. While I often see mountain lion footage of trail cameras at places where I do field work in AZ and Sonora Mexico, I've only seen one during the day in the wild. So the model for my painting was the female at the Phoenix Zoo - and if she was out here, she'd probably prefer a more seclude resting spot, maybe above my head in an old Mesquite Tree .. but hey, it's my painting ...

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