2 week-old kittens


This is a pair of 2 week old puma kittens. We make our initial visit to dens at 2 weeks in order to confirm it is a den and count how many kittens were born. We return at 4 weeks to place collars on kittens in order to track their growth and survival. Our published […]

Three new puma kittens take on the world!

57M up close

On Saturday, June 20, post-doc Max Allen, technician Chris Fust, and I parked in a grassy field in Wilder Ranch with one mission in mind. We were setting out to visit what we believed to be a newly established den by 25F, a female puma that lives primarily in Wilder. 25F had been present at the den […]

51M Leaping


We hear that pumas are good climbers and jumpers, but we don’t often get to see it.  This awesome series of photos shows 51M, a ~4 year old male we originally collared in November, turning around on a tree trunk, climbing down, and then leaping to the ground.  These photos were captured by volunteer houndsman, […]

CCRC Depredation Prevention Workshop

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

I would like to say a huge huge thank you to everyone who helped make the depredation prevention workshop possible yesterday!  In particular, I would like to thank my co-organizer, Lewis Reed, Grey Hayes and the CCRC Education and Outreach Committee, the Santa Lucia Conservancy, and all the speakers and panelists!  Everyone put a lot […]

Capture Frenzy – Welcome 52F, 53F, 54M, and 55F!

55F in a tree

The Santa Cruz Puma Project has been ramping up our captures in the last month in order to better study the puma population of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Here’s an introduction to 52F, 53F, 54M, and 55F! 52F is 5 years old and about 80 lbs. She has two kittens about 6 months old and […]

Taking better wildlife photos: Do motion-triggered DSLR cameras impact wildlife?

Increasingly, motion-triggered DSLR (or digital single-lens reflex) cameras equipped with a flash are being used to take better photos of animals in the wild. These photos can be very valuable for conservation because they show the public the private lives of important and endangered animals. However, some animals get spooked by the flash, which can change their behavior. […]

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 […]

Mountain view puma (46m) killed on Highway 280


Remember 46M, the puma that wandered into downtown Mountain View a few months ago?  Well he had quite a journey for the last 5 months until he was hit by a car on Hwy 280 a few days ago.  After capturing him in downtown Mt. View and releasing him back in the mountains from where he […]

News Report on an Upcoming Wildlife Crossing on Hwy17


Last night, KSBW reported on the very exciting progress the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County is making towards creating wildlife connectivity across Highway 17. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County is working on purchasing 290 acres of land that straddles Laurel Curve, one of Highway 17’s most notorious turns for both motorists and […]