in the news


As human development in the Bay Area rapidly expands into puma habitat, the interface between humans and pumas is increasingly becoming a point of conflict. Sightings and encounters are on the rise, and as people become more concerned on both sides of the issue, local and national media outlets are taking an interest. The issue of human-puma interaction, and the Bay Area Puma Project as the central initiative on pumas in the region, are getting extensive press coverage.

2017 Press Reports

Meet the Peninsula’s frequent visitors: mountain lions - The Mercury News - September 29, 2017

2016 Press Reports

Cougar attacks: Santa Cruz Mountains residents search for answers - San Jose Mercury News - May 1, 2016

2015 Press Reports

Mountain lion sighting near Walter Colton Middle School - KSBW 8 - October 28, 2015

Reeling from Cecil? Join Lion Appreciation Day at Oakland Zoo - San Jose Mercury News - August 14, 2015

Four Mountain Lion Sightings Reported in San Francisco - KQED News - July 9, 2015

Mountain Lion Spotted at Least 4 Times in San Francisco - ABC7 News - July 8, 2015

Four Mountain Lion Sightings Reported in San Francisco and Presidio - NBC Bay Area - July 8, 2015

San Mateo Man Shoots Gun to Scare Off Mountain Lion - NBC Bay Area - May 19, 2015

Bay Area Puma Project - Silicon Valley Hilltromper - March 2015

Complex Backyard Jungles: An Interview with Zara McDonald, Founder of Felidae - BiophilicCities - March 23, 2015

Creature Feature: Mountain Lions in Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley's Tracks - Spring 2015

Caught on camera: Mountain lions nearer to us in the Bay Area than we know - Press Democrat- January 31, 2015

Car Strikes, Kills Mountain Lion On I-280 In San Bruno - CBS Bay Area - January 2, 2015

2014 Press Reports

Tracking mountain lions in San Francisco - Red Orbit - December 19, 2014

Tracking Mountain Lions in California's Urban Jungles - National Geographic - December 17, 2014


Ask The Naturalist: Why Would A Mountain Lion Attack That Child? - Bay Nature - September 13, 2013

From Felidae Conservation Fund and the Bay Area Puma Project:
Normally when there is a mountain lion incident and direct human contact, there are several months of abnormally high sightings reports, suggesting that the human response to extremely rare predator aggression is overblown attention and fear. The recent incident involving a 6 year old boy is no exception. A healthy response to this incident, if you enjoy recreating on local trails that also happen to be natural habitat for multiple wildlife species, is to really take the time to educate yourself and your family about the very real risks of hiking in a region where there are noxious snakes and spiders, as well as coyotes, bobcats, deer and yes, mountain lions.
The lion that was killed as a result of the incident last week was a 2-ish year old male, likely a disperser, and not obviously sick or unhealthy.

Read the Bay Nature piece for more.


Breaking News Statement - Mountain Lion Attack in Cupertino - September 7, 2014

From the Bay Area Puma Project and Felidae Conservation Fund:

Earlier today at approximately 1 pm, a mountain lion ostensibly attempted to drag a 6-year old boy off a trail in Cupertino, CA on Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The boy sustained moderate injuries and was taken to the hospital. As we await more detail on the situation, and CDFW searches for the mountain lion, it is important to acknowledge this incident and the remote likelihood of this happening in the San Francisco Bay Area, where mountain lions reside. This is an extremely unfortunate event and the family of the child who was attacked is in our thoughts.

It is exceptionally rare for a Mountain lion to attack a human. A healthy mountain lion does not ordinarily stalk a human being. Mountain lions have a stable prey base in the region, and are typically uninterested in, and even afraid of, humans. They usually go out of their way to avoid humans.

When we outline safety protocol in mountain lion habitat we emphasize that children are at greater risk because of their smaller stature. Young children should remain close to their parents or escort when hiking, and they should not be left behind a group, or too far ahead.

Humans are not normal lion prey, so a young sub-adult lion still dependent on its mother, or a sick, or weakened and elderly lion that has more difficulty taking down deer, or other normal prey can become opportunistic and see a young child as prey.

Please stay tuned for more details on this story and check back with us for updates and clarifications.


Passerby saves injured bobcat on road - KTVU News - August 1, 2014

Tracking the Ghost Cat: Mountain Lions Remain Elusive in the East Bay - Bay Nature - July 25, 2014

Mountain Lion Traps Set Up in Bay Area Foothills - NBC Bay Area - July 2, 2014

Feature: In the lion's den - Pacific Sun - June 5, 2014

Bay Area Puma - Mountain Lions Among Us - Commonground Magazine - April 2014

Will a Taser Work on a Cougar? - Outside Magazine - January 17, 2014

Puma advocate preaches peaceful coexistence - Santa Cruz Sentinel - January 17, 2014

2013 Press Reports

Oakland Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation Program Raises More Than $100,000 for Animals in the Wild - PRWEB - December 23, 2013

Biologists Begin Project To Track East Bay Mountain Lions - CBS San Francisco Bay Area - November 14, 2013

Scientists to Trap and Tag East Bay Mountain Lions for Study - Lamorinda Patch - November 12, 2013

Outside the Box Bakersfield Film Festival lineup - The Bakersfield Californian - November 2, 2013

Mountain lions roam Woodside: Don't be alarmed, experts say - The Almanac - October 1, 2013

SCIENCE IN ACTION THIS WEEK: Local Lions - California Academy of Sciences - July 12, 2013

The Day the Mountain Lion Came to Santa Cruz - National Wildlife Federation Blog - June 10, 2013

MARIN COUNTY: Wildlife officials consider changing policy on cougars - KTVU - May 28, 2013

Mountain Lion Encounters: What To Do and How to Avoid Them - Santa Cruz Patch - May 17, 2013

Marin celebrates Earth Day a day early - Marin IJ - April 21, 2013

Animal Tracking: Signs of Life: The Art and Science of Tracking - Bay Nature - March 20, 2013

2012 Press Reports

Mountain Lions vs Bobcats - Do You Know the Difference? - San Anselmo / Fairfax Patch - October 1, 2012

Pacifica: Organization Releases Never Before Seen Footage of Mountain Lions - KTVU - August 16, 2012

Tracking Big Cats to Learn Their Secrets - KQED Quest - July 11, 2012

Mountain Lions in Pacifica - Pacifica Currents - May 30, 2012

Mountain Lions and Humans - Can They Co-Exist? - The Commonwealth Club - March 15, 2012

2011 Press Reports

Cougar Sightings Increase with Population and Habitat Loss - Kenwood Press - July 1, 2011

Luring Mountain Lions to Live Amongst Them - San Francisco Chronicle - June 2, 2011

Researchers Track Mountain Lions in SC Mountains - KTVU San Francisco - June 2, 2011

Redwood City: Meeting Held To Discuss Plans To Deal with Surge in Mountain Lion Sightings - KTVU San Francisco - April 14, 2011

Despite High-Profile Mountain Lion Incidents, Encounters with People are Down - San Jose Mercury News - April 6, 2011

Living With Lions- WildCare Newsletter - April 2011

Napa Sheep Slaughter Solved: Culprits Were Cougars - SF Chronicle - April 1, 2011

Big Cat Researchers Take Santa Cruz Sixth-Graders to the Mounts on Research Mission - San Jose Mercury News - March 28, 2011

Understanding Mountain Lions - Cedar Street Times - March 11, 2011

Mountain Lion Safety and Conservation - Care2 - February 6, 2011

Neighborhood Mountain Lions? Summer Berkeley Incident Causes Cities to Rethink Wildlife Policies - Peninsula Press - January 13, 2011

2010 Press Reports

Living With Lions - Sonoma Magazine - December 2010

Mountain Lions Straying Into More Urban Areas - SF Chronicle - November 28, 2010

Living With the Lions Among Us - Sonoma Index-Tribune - November 24, 2010

Berkeley Puma Caught at Intersection of Habitat and Humanity - - Sept 2010

Through the Eyes of the Lion: A Wild Life on the Urban Edge- Bay Nature - April-June 2010

Mountain Lions Rattle South Coast - Puma Project Tracks Lions in Santa Cruz Mountains- Half Moon Bay Review - March 24, 2010

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS: Scientist Using High-Tech Collars To Track Mountain Lion Movement- KTVU Nightly News - March 11, 2010

National Geographic - BAPP was featured in Brady Barr’s Wild West Segment of Dangerous Encounters - National Geographic Television Channel - March 6, 2010, 5:00pm and 8:00pm

Podcast with the Wilderness Center - Wild Ideas #49 - March 4, 2010

2009 Press Reports

Santa Cruz Researchers Focus On Mountain Lion Whereabouts- KTVU San Francisco - October 9, 2009

Project Keeps Track of Bay Area Mountain Lions- CBS 5 - October 7, 2009

Press Release: Bay Area Scientists Track Mountain Lion Kittens in the Santa Cruz Mountains - June 8, 2009

Scientists Tracking Mountain Lions Near Urban Areas- NPR Day-to-Day Show - February 10, 2009

Tracking study locates several lions in Santa Cruz Mountains - Santa Cruz Sentinel - January 25th, 2009

Tracking Urban Lions- KQED 88.5 FM Interview with David Gorn - January 12, 2009

Tracking Mountain Lions-For Their Own Good - San Francisco Chronicle - January 11, 2009

2008 Press Reports

High-Tech Collars To Reveal the Secretive Behaviors of Mountain Lions - Mongabay,com - May 28, 2008

Press Release for Santa Cruz Mountains Puma Project- May 6, 2008

Going Green: Cat Scratch Fever - April 4, 2008