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 […]

66M: The Early Bird Gets The Puma

Sunrise from Mt Umhunum.  Fog in the Santa Clara Valley, and the lights of New Almaden below.

My day started early today in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. I had been out since 5:30am searching for puma 26M in order to locate him for recapture. My plan was to start early and search for the radio signal from his tracking collar, and if I found him on property we had permission […]

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!

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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 […]

Pumas Above San Jose

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A photo of a puma family above the night time lights of San Jose. This photo was captured with a motion-triggered camera by our field technician Chris Fust. The effects of urbanization and human activity are a focus of our project. We have found that human development affects where pumas choose to have dens and […]

Using Motion-triggered Cameras To Study Puma Behavior

  We have been using motion-triggered video cameras for over 4 years to study puma communication behaviors. Here is a video we captured of a mother puma and two of her playful yearling kittens. We suspect that the mother puma is 52f before we placed a collar on her. For more information on how pumas […]

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. […]

Santa Cruz Pumas featured on BBC Science in Action podcast

Puma kill site near a home in Felton, CA

This week, we published a paper on puma behavioral responses to human development and how they relate to kill rates in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We found that females spend less time at their deer kills when they are close to people, and therefore kill deer more often to compensate. For more, listen to BBC’s […]

Puma sighting on UCSC campus

Mountain lion

A UCSC Cruz Alert was sent out on November 28 warning of two mountain lions spotted near the base of the UCSC campus. Mountain lions do occasionally move through campus property, due to the many preserved acres of land in Upper Campus and Pogonip, and the adjacency of large protected areas including Wilder Ranch and […]

A bird’s eye view

Mark, Paul and Chris relaxing in front of the plane

Every month, one  of our biologists goes up in a plane to try to locate all of our study animals and download the GPS information from their collars. Flying is the most efficient way to download the GPS data because we can cover much more ground than driving. We are lucky to work with pilot […]