Nebraska’s resident mountain lion population has grown slightly, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Sam Wilson, Game and Parks’ furbearer and carnivore program manager, estimated the reproducing population of mountain lions in the Pine Ridge of northwest Nebraska in 2012 was 22, compared to 19 in 2010. The estimates were derived from studies in which dogs were used to detect mountain lion scat, which were then analyzed through DNA fingerprinting.
The scat detection survey identified the presence of a female mountain lion in the Niobrara River Valley of north-central Nebraska – the first documented female mountain lion outside of the Panhandle. It is not known if this is a resident animal or a disperser that may have moved on to other areas, Wilson said.