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Hey there, I had a quick question on scat identification. I came across this one evening, on The Chimneys trail, there is no size reference in the photo but the pile of scat was about the width of my outstretched hand and was fresh,too. Is this mountain lion scat? Thanks.
Cougars will deposit their scat in the middle of trails and dirt roads as a territorial marking. They will sometimes scrape together a pile of debris and urinate or defecate on it. This is another form of territorial marking. Cougar scats are segmented and the ends are rounder than those of canines. Cougar scat is about the size of a large dog's scat and usually contains large amounts of hair. Also, Cougar scat can be often difficult to find because of the animalís secretive nature and tendency to bury it (look for dirt mounds like a house cat makes, but much larger). It generally has a segmented appearance with non-tapered ends.How to tell if it's from a Cougar?Being able to identify mountain lion scat is an important part of determining the threat level of mountain lions in the area.Step 1 Look at size. Generally, the scat of a mountain lion is roughly the same size as dog scat, making it fairly distinct from the much smaller scat of bobcats and the larger scat of deer, elk and other bigger mammals.Step 2 Check out the composition. Cougar scat has a fairly consistent composition. However, one of the most noticeable features of cougar scat is the presence of a fair amount of hair, usually the remnants of the animal's last meal.Step 3 Look at the shape. While mountain lion scat is similar in size to dog scat it has some noticeable differences. Mountain lion scat has distinctly rounded ends. The scat is also divided into fairly clear segments, each of which is roughly one inch in diameter.Step 4 Pay attention to the location. Like most cats, mountain lions are fairly deliberate about where they put their droppings. Mountain lions often leave their scat in the open. For example, you'll find it on the middle of a trail. In many cases, the animal gathers a small pile of debris, such as a pile of twigs or leaves, and then defecates on it as a territorial marker.
What did it taste like?
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