University of Illinois research shows cougars, coyotes have distinctly different influences as top predators

A camera-trap study of two ecosystems – one with cougars (also known as pumas or mountain lions) and one without – adds to scientists’ understanding of the many ways apex predators influence the abundance, diversity and habits of other animals, including smaller carnivores. When cougars disappear, other carnivores, like coyotes, function as the top predator. But their influence on other species is distinctly different than that of cougars.