We discuss how big cats use heathland as their territory with Jonathan McGowan, and hear about two of his encounters in Dorset and the New Forest. He scouts out suspected prey remains of deer in these areas, looking for tell-tale tooth marks on the bones.
We then hear from Dr Andrew Hemmings in the lab at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. After receiving these skeletal remains from Jonathan and others, students gauge the tooth marks to identify those which match the scale and pattern of puma and leopard carnassial teeth. Andrew discusses how tooth-pit analysis can contribute to the evidence base for big cats in Britain.
Words of the week: Citizen science
16 October 2019