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 […]

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 […]

How to tell if a lion or coyote killed a deer

Flattened grass from lion dragging its kill into the forest.

We frequently receive calls and messages from local landowners telling us about a fresh-dead deer in their yard.  This is fascinating information and helpful to our research – we’ve trapped and collared several mountain lions in this way.  In many cases, the deer was killed by a lion.  In many other cases, the deer was […]

Video: Female puma & cubs

  A trail camera we have posted at a puma scent marking site caught this brief glimpse into the busy life of a mother puma.  Believe it or not, despite hundreds or thousands of trail camera videos of pumas traveling, this is the first one we’ve captured of a mother traveling with tiny cubs.   […]

Into the Lion’s Den – 44M & 45M

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Lion 23F gave birth to a litter of kittens about 4 weeks ago near Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.  Our team visited her current nursery site today and found 2 feisty 5 ½ pound kittens, known to our project now as 44M and 45M.     We briefly handled them to fit them with […]

Frequently Asked Questions

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During recent talks and outreach events we’ve had some questions from local landowners about our puma data. Just to clear up any misunderstandings, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife does not allow us to make real time location data available to the public. We do, however, post delayed tracking data on the collared pumas […]

Male and female mountain lion share a meal

Here is a rare glimpse of the chivalrous side of the male puma, stepping aside to share his meal with a female. Males aren’t always that nice, however, and will often attack or even kill animals that try to feed on their kills. In the wild, pumas often cache their kills by scraping debris (or […]

Mountain Lions now coming to your Apple computer

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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.