Tor­res del Paine Na­tional Park, Chile

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Contents -

Cari­bou mi­gra­tion, lekking An­dean cock-of-the-rock and pumas

The pow­er­ful and preda­tory puma is shy, soli­tary and usu­ally hunts at twi­light. From Oc­to­ber to May they roam across the moun­tains in search of gua­na­cos (close rel­a­tives of lla­mas), but when the cold bites in win­ter (June to Septem­ber) their prey moves to lower lev­els to feed on grasses and shrubs not cov­ered in snow and the large fe­lines fol­low. To track pumas at this quiet time of year in the park, you need to get up early (the cats are most of­ten spot­ted at dawn and dusk), and wear plenty of lay­ers (ex­pect freez­ing tem­per­a­tures). A sight­ing of this elu­sive big cat is not easy to achieve but an ex­pe­ri­enced tracker will give you the best chance.

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