Wednesday, June 10, 2015

DNA Results Reveals Birthplace of Mountain Lion Killed in Bradley County in 2014

Mountain lion killed in Bradley County in late 2014-Photo courtesy of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
According to a news release issued Wednesday by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, DNA test results have been finalized for a mountain lion that was killed in Bradley County in late 2014. The Commission said the animal was "almost certainly the same mountain lion that was sighted in southern Marion County in September.  The probability of the two mountain lions with the same genetic profile is one in 182 million."  DNA results were formulated by the Wildlife Genetics Laboratory in Missoula, Montana.

The DNA lab results revealed that the big cat was most likely to have originated in the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota.  It is believed that "The mountain lion traveled from Marion County to Bradley County in about six weeks before it was killed."  AGFC Large Carnivore Biologist Myron Means said, "That shows you how far a mountain lion can travel in a short period."

Tissue sample from the Bradley County mountain lion matched the hair sample collected from the mountain lion hair found on private land in southern Marion County, which is separated by a distance of about 180 miles. The male mountain lion is a new individual to the lab’s DNA database.

Using the lab’s database which includes mountain lion samples from populations in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oregon and Florida, they were able to determine its origin.

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