There has been quite a lot of mountain lion research in Utah over the years. Some of this research has been conducted by the APHIS National Wildlife Research Center, Utah State University, a project within USU known as the Monroe-Oquirrh Cougar Project, or as a collaboration between some of these groups.
Much of the research has focused on three main topics, 1) predation effects on big game species, 2) population estimation techniques, and 3) the influence of hunting on mountain lion demographics.
As technology improved, and radio tracking collars gained popularity, researchers in the state were able to ask new questions. Adding further depth to the research being conducted, mountain lion classification within the state shifted to being classified as big game species. Work published by Lindzey et al. (1989) was the first project in the state to use tracking collars to look at home range sizes and movement. This work was conducted on the Boulder Plateau and adjacent Henry Mountains in southern Utah from 1978 to 1989. Research conducted by Lindzey and colleagues focused on many applied facets of mountain lion biology, including predation impacts on deer, elk, and livestock; population dynamics; survey techniques; and the impact of hunting on mountain lion demographics.
The next round of research in the state was conducted by Dr. Michael Wolfe at Utah State University, and Clint Mecham. This work took place on the Fishlake National Forest in central Utah, and near the Salt Lake metro area in the Oquirrh Mountains. These two sites were chosen so that researchers could compare the effect land use would have on mountain lion ecology; the Fishlake National Forest is public land and open to hunting, while the Oquirrh Mountain site is a mosaic of private properties with restricted hunting access.
This study ran from 1996 to 2013 and had three main research objectives: