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Pumas utilize sly strategy of fertilizing plants that recruit prey to hunting grounds - study

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A new Panthera study published today in Landscape Ecology has found that pumas might utilize a sly hunting strategy known as 'garden to hunt,' by which puma kills fertilize or deposit nutrients in soil that increase plant quality and attract ungulates to feed in select habitat conducive to future stalk-and-ambush puma hunting.

In a fascinating cycle of foraging for both pumas and their prey, decomposing ungulate carcasses deposit elevated levels of nitrogen, carbon and other valuable elements that improve the chemistry and nutrient makeup of soil and plants. These changes may even influence where ungulates, such as elk, congregate and feed, given their preference for nitrogen-rich food. Pumas, because they hunt only select areas that give them an advantage, are creating nutrient-rich hotspots that may continue to improve their future hunting success over time.

A remarkable finding, scientists also estimated that a dozen pumas produced over 100,000 kg of carrion per year, a mass equivalent to that of the world's largest animal, the blue whale. Over a nine-year lifespan, each puma was estimated to have created approximately 482 temporary hotspots of nutrient-rich soil.


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Wow, if we left the planet alone, it seems, it's perfectly capable of sustaing itself. 

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