Mountain lions in Nevada contribute to healthy deer population

Did you know mountain lions help out other species like deer? Lions are often viewed as being destructive to the Nevada deer population, but it’s actually quite the opposite. It takes a lot of energy to hunt, and lions kill only one deer a week if they are successful. Mountain lions often take down sick or weak prey. This strengthens the stability of the food web, creating a healthy population of deer.

In addition to creating viable deer communities, mountain lions have a positive impact on the environment. A balanced deer population ensures that vegetation, such as grass, doesn’t become over grazed. When this occurs, other animals that depend upon the vegetation for food and shelter can be negatively impacted or even starve. Plant communities are important because they decrease the amount of erosion of sediment and dirt into streams. Overgrazing can have an impact on water quality, which can harm fish and amphibian populations.

Being on top of the food chain means mountain lions have a vital role in maintaining complex interactions within ecosystems. The mountain lion is a “apex species”. Their impact on ecosystem extends beyond the need of their own survival. Having lions in Nevada allows the diversity of life to flourish.

Lisa Wooden

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