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 […]

Santa Cruz Puma Project featured on Science Nation

The Santa Cruz Puma Project was featured on this week’s Science Nation video from the National Science Foundation, entitled, “Bio-logging collar reveals unprecedented detail about California mountain lions“. This video shows three very important components of the puma project through interviews with Chris Wilmers (the ecologist), Gabe Elkaim (the engineer), and Terrie Williams (the physiologist). By building a team of […]

National Geographic’s Cool Cougar Story


  National Geographic published a fantastic feature on urban pumas in their December issue.  The article includes an interactive map of pumas around Los Angeles,  as well as a stunning photo of an adult male puma walking through the hills of Griffith Park – a spot that many people visit every day. With over 38 […]

A very intimate glimpse into a puma family

We were recently alerted to this new video from user CougarMagic on Youtube. The video depicts a mom walking with her two kittens who just stops to let them nurse in front of a camera trap. This is an amazing and very rare glimpse into the family life of pumas. Enjoy!

Chris featured in new SF Chronicle article!

Harry the deer in our project room.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently published a profile on Chris and our project! Check it out here. Also, that bobble-headed deer featured in the article has a name, and it’s Harry.

What a fox!

White-tipped tail + black legs = red fox

Today’s digital motion-sensing trail cameras are a remarkable invention.  Just 10 years ago, I was a managing a camera trap survey of wildlife in the fragments of once-contiguous wildlife habitat that remained as new housing subdivisions developed around Seattle.  We used hand-modified 35mm point-and-shoot film cameras for still photos and hand-held mini-CD video recorders encased […]

Some cool new technology


About  a year ago, we got this cool new cell-phone game camera – the ScoutGuard SG550M. A cell-phone game camera is one that texts and emails you when it takes a picture, at least theoretically. Well, we had some issues with it and it laid around gathering dust for a while, but we finally got […]

Mountain Lions now coming to your Apple computer


Apple’s launch of Mountain Lion OS is a great time to draw attention to the real animals roaming above the hills of Cupertino. Check out UCSC’s news release on the SC Puma Project’s recent findings.  

Update on 23F’s kittens

I know a lot of you enjoyed the photos of 23F’s kittens. Since we visited them, 23F has moved her kittens to several different hiding places (as a good mother should) to keep them safe. However, before we took off, we left a trail camera there to see if we could capture any interesting behavior, […]

Self Portraits

29F walking through wilder

Most animals are really difficult to observe since they generally run away when humans approach. One way we get around that is by using motion detecting cameras. These cameras allow animals to take their own self portraits by triggering the shutter as they walk in front of the camera. Many animals aren’t very good photographers. […]