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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, March 4, 2013

I am happy to introduce a new friend of this blog, Yiwei Wang, a PhD Candidate in Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz........Yiwei is involved with the SANTA CRUZ PUMA PROJECT, a partnership between the University and the Calif. Dept of Fish & Game...................This study focuses on the ecological consequences of puma predation on ungulates, the physiological differences between males and females, the ways in which mountain lions communicate with each other, and the impacts of mountain lions on other carnivore species such as coyotes, raccoons and skunks..................You can click on the link(in the article below) to go to their site and get more information on their fine work...........We look forward to hearing more from Yiwei and her colleagues as they continue to learn more about the Urban Pumas that call the greater San Francisco/Silicon Valley region home

from :Yiwei Wang.... 

To: Rick Meril
re: Coyotes, Wolves & Cougars Forever
Dear Rick,

I stumbled upon your blog today - very cool. I hope you will consider linking or posting a blurb about our research on pumas in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Silicon Valley, CA.

I think our research is pretty unique in that it is some high tech ecological research on a large carnivore located very close to the high tech heart of our nation. Please check out our website



Yiwei Wang
PhD Candidate
Environmental Studies Dept.
1156 High St.
University of California at Santa Cruz

 The Santa Cruz Puma Project is a partnership between UC Santa Cruz and the California Department of Fish and Game. We began the work in 2008 with a number of complimentary goals enumerated below.

 Follow us through our blog or on twitter and we'll keep you up to date with the latest developments from the field as well as important results as they are published.

1 – We are a developing a state-of-the-art wildlife-tracking collar that simultaneously tracks the location and behavior of the animal wearing it. This is accomplished by a GPS unit that communicates with an array of satellites and downloads its position at a user defined interval, an accelerometer which measures movements of the collar in all three spatial directions 64 times a second, and a magnetometer, an electronic compass which measures the orientation of the collar with respect to the earths magnetic field. Powerful algorithms take in data from each device and report where the animal is and what it is doing.

2 – We are collecting data on wild mountain lions (Puma concolor) to better understand their physiology, behavior and ecology. In particular, we are interested in the ecological consequences of puma predation on ungulates, the physiological differences between males and females, the ways in which mountain lions communicate with each other, and the impacts of mountain lions on other carnivore species such as coyotes, raccoons and skunks. By using the new wildlife collars described above, we will be able to gain unprecedented new insights into each of these questions.

3 – Through our research efforts we are aiming to develop a better understanding of the impacts of habitat fragmentation (roads, housing developments etc.) on mountain lion behavior, reproduction and movement. We are particularly interested in understanding how mountain lion behavior changes as they get closer to human development, and in identifying the routes that mountain lions use to traverse the mountains. Data from our study will be used by local NGO's to identify conservation priorities as well as Caltrans to inform the placement of wildlife crossing structures across major freeways.

4 - The Felidae Conservation Fund operates the Bay Area Puma Project with a focus on research, education, outreach and conservation work throughout the San Francisco Bay Area region. From 2008-2011, we collaborated with the Bay Area Puma Project, and we continue to support the Bay Area Puma Project and their efforts to educate elementary and high school students about mountain lion behavior, ecology and conservation by bringing them into the field with our research project team members.

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