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The American Ecological Research Institute (–AERIE) is pleased to announce its 6th annual “Mountain Lion Tracking, Management and Ecology Workshop”.  Conducted over 4 days in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, among the continent’s most spectacular wildlife habitat, the 2012 4-day field sessions will run Tuesday-Friday, Tuesday, Feb 7th – Friday, Feb 10th near Great Falls, Montana.  Attendees should plan on using the Monday and the Saturday of those weeks as travel days.

 

The course is geared toward wildlife biologists, managers and other natural resource professionals, as well as outdoor recreationists, seeking to enhance their knowledge of locating, tracking, monitoring, and managing the mountain lion and other carnivores. During the 4-day program participants will learn basic hound handling practices, mountain lion search and survey techniques (ie transecting, camera trapping, trail- and road-hunting, etc…), as well the definitive and often times subtle characteristics of mountain lion sign (tracks, trails, gait patterns, scat, scrapes, kills, etc..), including differentiation of the different sexes and age classes of the cat.

 

Field time predominates during this unique course.  Hounds may be used as opportunity permits to pursue and tree mountain lions whose sign is encountered.  The fieldwork is supplanted with personalized instruction and training on mountain lion ecology and behavior, and discussions of carnivore capture techniques, immobilization science and philosophy, safe animal handling, and depredation investigation.

 

According to course founder and Institute director Jay Tischendorf (BS Zoology, DVM), author of the privately published Field Guide to Puma Sign:  Its Identification, Interpretation, Measurement, and Preservation, several things make the –AERIE Mountain Lion Tracking and Ecology Workshop unique.  “One, we pioneered informal puma tracking courses to build awareness among eastern and Midwestern biologists in the 1990s.  We’ve enhanced the program a lot since then.  Today our training and study area lies within what is probably among the top 1 or 2% of wildlife habitat in the continental USA.  There are few areas in North America where a person can find the mountain lion, lynx and bobcat—plus black and grizzly bear, wolf, coyote, fisher and wolverine and all of their prey, from bighorn sheep to elk, antelope, and deer—and study the differences in their sign.  Ours is one of them.”

 

“Two,” Dr. Tischendorf, who studied mountain lions with the University of Idaho and Hornocker Wildlife Research Institute, continues, “our class size is extremely limited, which translates into a highly personalized, once-in-a-lifetime experience for our participants.  It is an excellent training program for natural resource personnel, especially those from the Great Plains, Midwest, and East, where there is a lot of interest in recent—and increasing—confirmations of the mountain lion.”

 

To maximize student-instructor contact time, each session of the –AERIE Mountain Lion Tracking and Ecology Workshop is limited to 2 – 4  attendees.  Preference is given to natural resource agency personnel and other wildlife professionals, but anyone with an interest in the subject is encouraged to apply for a slot.  The course fills quickly.

 

The course instructor, Jay Tischendorf, is a wildlife biologist and veterinarian whose resume includes work with the USFWS, FS, NPS, BLM, Nature Conservancy, Audubon, and several state agencies.   Especially interested in predators, dating back to the mid-1980s Dr. Tischendorf has extensive field experience with the puma, red and gray wolves, bobcats, lynx, black-footed ferrets, and a host of raptors including bald and golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and the Mexican spotted owl.

 

Cost for the 4-day program is $1500.  Room and board are not included.  However, a wide selection of convenient accommodations is available.  Participants should plan to fly into Great Falls International Airport, Montana, where Institute personnel will meet them, on Monday, 6 February.  Following a group social hour and dinner the first night, the course kicks off the next morning with the first of 4 days afield..  Departure should be planned for Saturday, February 11th.  Again, –AERIE staff will provide transportation to the airport.

 

For details and testimonials, or if you are interested in scheduling a private course specifically for your own group or organization, please contact:

 

 

Jay Tischendorf DVM

American Ecological Institute (–AERIE)

Post Office Box 1826

Great Falls, Montana 59403 USA

Cell:  303-328-8414

E-mail:  WildlifeVetUSA@Gmail.com

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