Update on 39M, the Downtown Puma

Leg of a fawn, successfully hunted and eaten by 39M and evidence that he has the skills he' needs to survive (photo by Cameron Kolk)

  Here is an update on lion 39M, the young male that turned up in downtown Santa Cruz last month.  In short, he appears to be doing well, as interpreted from GPS locations and examination of a few sites where he’s killed and eaten prey.   GPS locations indicate that 39M is remaining near the […]

Frequently Asked Questions

SC Hike_Panorama2

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 […]

First published study out!

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Check out the UCSC news release on the first paper coming out of the Puma Project! The great thing is that our paper is published in PLOS (Public Library of Science) One, an open-sourced journal. This means that anyone can read our paper for free as long as you have internet access. So, check out […]

We Caught 37m and ~20 First Graders

boy-rug growl-off

Last week Yiwei and I got to go talk with 5th, 7th, and 1st graders at Hillbrook School in Los Gatos. We brought along some of our field equipment and a puma skin from the UCSC Natural History Collection. After the talks were over, the first graders even lined up so they could each have […]

Would you rather…

Wild boar on same trail

Encounter a puma in the forest? …Or a wild boar? Joggers and hikers may fear pumas, but how often do they think about wild boars when running through the woods? These animal have thrived and multiplied in California since being introduced in the 1920s. Wild boars can weigh up to 200-300 pounds and can breed […]

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 get hairballs too!

We’ve been placing motion-sensing trail cameras in the Santa Cruz Mountains since 2008. Our cameras have captured pumas sleeping, playing, calling to each other, scent marking, and courting. However, never before have we caught a mountain lion behaving like this! This clip shows that in many ways, mountain lions are not all that different from […]

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. […]