Gardening Cougars: Study finds mountain lions feed their prey

As we plan and plant our gardens this spring, consider the mountain lion.

The stealthy predators are strictly meat eaters, but what and where they kill provides nutrients for the soil and promotes plant growth. It’s an odd concept examined in a recent study by the big cat conservation group Panthera. From 2014 to 2018, the group collared 50 mountain lions and tracked them to identify kill sites. Once identified, the researchers collected soil and plant samples, comparing them from the kill site to nearby areas.

The results proved what most gardeners already know: adding nutrients to the soil can boost plant growth. Or in the case of gardening cougars, plants will nourish their prey. Billings Gazette Outdoor editor Brett French recently wrote about the study and talks about its findings.

Thom Bridge can be reached at

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