The Bay Area Puma Project (BAPP) is the first large scale research, education and conservation program for pumas in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. BAPP's primary goal is to increase knowledge, understanding and awareness about Bay Area puma populations, in order to promote better co-existence and less conflict between humans and pumas in the region, and ultimately to help foster a more harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world.
Current Issues and Concerns
As the top predator in the natural spaces around the Bay Area, the puma plays a critical role in maintaining the health and balance of our local ecosystems. However human development is rapidly encroaching on puma habitat, creating mounting problems that include habitat fragmentation and corridor loss, increasing anxiety in local communities due to puma encounters, and more human-puma conflicts involving roads, livestock, and depredation. Moreover, because the puma is both a bellwether and a keystone species, these problems pose a serious threat to biodiversity and the habitat overall.
BAPP's ten-year program addresses these conflicts with a complementary set of initiatives. A strong scientific foundation is provided by a cutting-edge field study that is revealing new data on puma biology and behavior. This knowledge supports powerful community outreach and education programs that amplify local awareness about the need to preserve ecosystems. These programs are accompanied by state-of-the-art online technologies designed to raise understanding and support in the broader public. Finally, detailed data generated by the research will be used to advance collaborative discussions with key agencies and officials, to safeguard key wildlife habitats and corridors.
· collect data on puma movements, biology, ecology and behavior
· analyze data and develop conclusions about local puma populations
· develop documents that support conservation and contribute to scientific knowledge
OUTREACH & EDUCATION
· inform local residents, reduce tensions, increase understanding
· give students deeper appreciation for local ecosystems
· connect people to nature using the latest technologies
· secure protection for critical linkages
· secure protection for priority habitats
· minimize human-puma encounters through better land use policies
The scientific insight and public support that BAPP generates will help reduce tensions, increase understanding, and influence decision-makers to protect key wildlife habitats and corridors.