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Video: Pumas Mating in SC Mountains

Hot feline porn underscores the need for wildlife connectivity—the goal of the Land Trust's $1 million campaign to build a wildlife crossing under Highway 17. Scroll down after the video to find out why.

by Hilltromper staff

Sept. 23, 2014—Party in the cat house! The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County posted a video on Facebook today of two adult mountain lions mating in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Byrne-Milliron Forest just outside Corralitos. Dated March 17, the video was captured by ecologist Jodi McGraw via a wildlife cam.

Feeling proudly clinical yet somehow pervy, we watched the video a few times to get some details. Condensing some 45 minutes into 3:39 starting about 11:30pm, it shows two large cats pacing in single file back and forth along a trail in what looks like scrub oak forest, until the male mounts the female in the middle of the path (as luck would have it, facing the camera). Then commences the lady's gutteral only-in-estrus yowling—the tender music known as "caterwauling."

The pacing accounts for most of the action in this hot cat-on-cat flick; actual coitus lasts a mere 2 minutes in the real world. Driven by prurient curiosity and professional rigor, we went a-googlin' and found this Penthouse-worthy information by Kevin Hansen on MountainLion.org:

"Cougars compensate for long periods of solitude with some of the most vigorous breeding behavior known to exist among mammals. Copulation can occur at a rate of 50 to 70 times in 24 hours for a 7- to 8-day period. Each copulation lasts less than a minute. Such enthusiastic copulation is thought to stimulate ovulation, (the release of eggs from the ovaries to make them available for fertilization)."

Hansen goes on to note that "[s]ome biologists speculate that high copulation rates also evolved as a way for females to evaluate male vigor." Oh, dear.

We couldn't help noticing this sentence: "When mating does occur, it usually takes place in the female's home range, with the male seeking out the female."

That means males must be able to reach females. Which in turn means this video posted by Land Trust underscores the importance of wildlife connectivity—the entire point of a $1 million capital campaign launched Sept. 3 to fund a wildlife crossing under Highway 17. Crossings like these allow mountain lions to achieve healthy genetic diversity across broad territories by removing impediments to roaming males. (Otherwise this can happen.)

You can read a little more about the Land Trust's Highway 17 wildlife crossing here. If you're interested in donating, visit the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County website.

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