Many years ago, Mountain Lions roamed the badlands.
As years went on they left the area, but now they have returned to the place they originally called home.
South Dakota State University graduate student, Randy Johnson teamed up with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to do a master’s study on the Mountain Lions.
During the study he was able to travel the badlands to live capture and radio collar the animal which allows him to follow their daily movements and interactions.
He discovered that Mountains Lions are most likely to be in the badlands and they are very secretive so the chance of seeing one is very rare.
Johnson says the Mountains Lions are important because they keep prey populations in check and help keep our ecosystem healthy.
“It keeps those populations in check which helps protect the landscape and the vegetation and some of those more sensitive species of plants can actually flourish then.” said Randy Johnson.
The research project took more than 2 years to complete.
With the data collected, biologists can make informed decisions and manage the population at a tolerable level.