The San Mateo Puma (56M) – One Year Later

56M GPS locations, May 2015 to May 2016.

  On May 18 2015, a young male puma wandered deep into San Mateo.  He was caught by California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens and transported back into nearby open space.  We met the wardens near the release site to place a collar on him. One year later, 56M is still roaming the scrubby […]

38F: Catching a Thief

Three week old cub of puma 38F.  Photographed in July 2013.

We recaptured puma 38F last week.  She’s a 4 year old female. 38F’s previous claim to fame was being the star of a great web video that was produced by San Francisco’s KQED and the eventual mother of this cute little guy… Using radio-telemetry collars, like we do on this project, requires that we periodically […]

RIP 36m – Genomics godfather to all pumas!

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 6.19.36 PM

Remember 36m?  This is the guy whose home range included the UCSC campus and went all the way up north close to Big Basin! One day he even decided to make a kill within view of the front steps of my office building.  Not sure who was stalking who :-). 36m also had a penchant […]

The Journeys of Young Pumas, and Welcome to Puma 56M

56M recovering and soon ready to continue searching for a territory

A young male puma was captured and returned safely to the wilds yesterday by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and San Mateo Police. As scientists studying pumas, we often receive questions about pumas when this happens. Usually the first questions are “Why does this happen?” and “Is it happening more frequently?” The short […]

25F Comes back to the Puma Project!

Taking a blood sample from 25F (Photo by Julia Burks)

On February 3, puma project researcher Paul Houghtaling went looking for 25F again. In May 2012, 25F’s collar stopped sending GPS data, and we have been attempting to get her a new collar ever since. After many previous attempts to track down 25f, Paul went back to Wilder Ranch, 25F’s home turf, to try again. […]

Milestone puma #50 joins the Santa Cruz Puma Project!

50M showing off his impressive claws!

The following guest post was written by Puma Project field technician Sean McCain: Today’s goal was to make a final attempt to access 19F’s den site and collar her two five-week-old kittens so we could monitor them into adulthood. This would be our final attempt because of two factors: The den was located in rough […]

#46M ‘s (aka #MVpuma) big adventure in Mountain View!

46M hiding under a car in Mountain View

In October, we introduced you to 41M and his brother, 46M, who taunted him through the bars when 41M was in our trap.  Then in January, 46M wandered into a trap we set for him and we gave him a collar to match his brother’s.  We didn’t see any sign of their mom until February, […]

Meet 48M

48m in trap

Last night we caught a new uncollared male, 48M.  We were expecting to catch a juvenile that we had seen on the camera traps earlier, but caught a 112 pound adult male instead!  He was a very polite cat — he went into the trap around 9pm last night, much earlier than many of our […]

Learn From Your Siblings…

41m watches 46m

In early October, we told you about catching 41M and how his sibling climbed up on top of the cage and taunted him through the bars.  Last night we saw that 41M’s brother didn’t learn from 41M’s experience… In this video, we see 41M (with his shiny new collar) looking at the cage trap with […]

Collateral damage: When people kill pumas without knowing it [GRAPHIC PHOTOS]

Puma kitten dies under porch

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about some of the common ways pumas get killed in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Most of the time, adult pumas die due to something human related (e.g., by being shot or hit with a car). Sometimes, pumas will also be killed by male pumas either in territorial disputes […]