Mountain lion activity reported around Singletree neighborhood in Edwards
Wildlife officers hope to trap juvenile lion that's been prowling around the Edwards subdivision
EDWARDS — It’s not unusual for a mountain lion to kill a deer and cache the carcass for future feeding.
But mountain lion caches aren’t usually found in landscaping mulch located in the middle of a subdivision.
That’s what was discovered this week alongside a Singletree resident’s driveway, evidence of a group of active mountain lions in the neighborhood.
“There are just a lot of lions on the landscape right now,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Devin Duval. “This particular group of lions that is highly active around Edwards, and particularly around Singletree, appears to be an adult female and a juvenile lion.”
Duval said CPW has been compiling information about this group of lions for more than a month, and wildlife officers have noted a couple of concerning trends.
“These animals appear to be becoming more habituated,” said Duval. “They are losing their innate fear around humans.”
Ideally, Duval said CPW wants to haze mountain lions before they reach that point. “But hazing loses its effectiveness over a period of time,” he said.
Duval said this group of lions was initially pegged as an adult female and two juveniles. But one of the juveniles was recently hit and killed along Interstate 70. CPW is now attempting to trap the second juvenile.
If the trapping effort is successful, then wildlife officials will determine what to do with the lion. It may be relocated or killed. Duval noted prior to making the decision, the animal’s overall health will be evaluated. If the lion has broken teeth or other injuries, its condition may be the reason why it is hanging out in a populated area. Pets or backyard livestock, such as chickens, are easier prey than deer.
Duval added that reports about the adult female indicate she may be injured.
“Those injuries may be making her less adept at hunting,” he said.
Humans can help
With mountain lion sightings in their neighborhood, Duval said Singletree residents can assist CPW, as well as the big cats, by doing a few simple things.
Keep dogs on a leash while walking them and supervise pets when letting them outside, particularly at night, he said. Mountain lions migrate through an area following their prey, so they are always on the lookout for a place to bed down for a couple of nights. Open areas under porches or decks fit that bill.
“Residents can make those areas less accessible by putting some temporary barriers like particle board to deny lions the opportunity to set up shop under a deck,” Duval said.
Timely and accurate reports of unusual mountain lion behavior is also valuable, he said. The CPW doesn’t need to hear about mountain lion sightings in the backcountry, but if someone spots a cat prowling around a residential area, wildlife officials want to know.
“When you see an adult cat strolling around your culdesac, it usually raises a few eyebrows,” he said
When CPW gets that type of information, Duval noted it is possible to work with homeowners associations and other groups to discourage lions from remaining in an area.
“Ideally we never want to handle wildlife. We just want to keep wildlife wild,” he said. “But bottom line, if there is an animal that poses a threat to human health and safety, we need to get involved.”
To learn more about living with mountain lions, visit the CPW website. To report a mountain lion sighting in Eagle County, contact the Northwest Region CPW Office in Grand Junction at 970-255-6100 or 970-747-2920.