Tails and Tracks


April is a great month to be out in nature experiencing the new flora growth and looking for signs of wildlife presence, which enriches our spirits, our wild lands, and cultivates our deeper appreciation for the rich species diversity in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

We have some great updates for you here from the field and the classroom, as well as some exciting upcoming events to attend with family and friends. Please enjoy the updates and join us at the SF Green Film Festival for a screening of the wildly popular "Born Free" and a special appearance by Virginia McKenna.
We hope to see you at one of the several Earth Day events we are appearing at this month. Please visit our table and say hello. Become a fan and follow our updates on Facebook and catch our Twitter feeds  @felidaefund.
Thank you for your awareness of the challenges that face wild felids and their ecologies, and for your personal contributions to our passionate efforts on behalf of native species and landscapes.
From the Felidae Staff and its Board of Directors, 

Z Sig_August 2010  
Zara McDonald

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 6:30pm at the Castro Theatre 
in San Francisco

Felidae is a community partner at this great event! This wildlife epic first roared onto the big screen 50 years ago as the first mainstream Hollywood film to spotlight a big conservation issue. 

Since then, the story of Elsa the Lioness has captured hearts around the globe, not least inspiring star Virginia McKenna's Born Free Foundation, dedicated to protecting these majestic animals.

Set in Kenya, it follows the true story of George (Bill Travers) and Joy Adamson's (Virgina McKenna) fight to return Elsa, a lion cub, to the wild. With the re-classification of many wild lion populations as endangered in December 2015 and inclusion of lions on the schedules of the US Endangered Species Act, the film's heart-warming story is even more relevant today. A must for all cat lovers, big and small.

Presented in a stunning new 4k digital restoration, courtesy of Sony Pictures Enterainment. Cost: $50/person

For more information and to register, visit the San Francisco Green Film Festival website.
Bay Area Puma Project - Using Remote Cameras to Assess Puma Populations and their Prey

By Ray Dodd, Field Biologist for the Bay Area Puma Project

The ability to assess wildlife populations in a non-invasive and low-cost way has been a challenge for bologists for decades.  The development of camera traps has offered biologists the ability to monitor a variety of species, including detecting elusive species such as pumas. The adoption of camera traps offers new insight into animal behavior and allows biologist to better understand of species' range, diversity and density. Deployment of camera traps has been an essential tool for the Bay Area Puma Project (BAPP) by allowing biologist and volunteers to monitor puma presence and movement in the Bay Area. The camera traps are being deployed and monitored in many of our study areas.  

They are not only being used to measure the presence of pumas, but also will be used to create a Wildlife Picture Index, that will allow Felidae Conservation Fund to gain insight into a site's prey population.  By placing cameras throughout our study area we will be able to identify areas pumas currently occupy, as well as, identify sites that have the prey base for pumas but currently lack a population.  By identifying sites that have many of the essential characteristics of puma habitat, but no pumas, we can begin to identify what is causing their absences. Camera traps are an essential tool in helping us answer many of the questions we currently have in regards to the Bay Area puma population and prey base. 
To date, the Bay Area Puma Project has gained great insight by using camera traps and our study areas have recently expanded to include Solano County and the Sonoma Coast. Of course, none of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers and interns, who have spent countless hours checking camera traps and cataloging the photographs. Continued use of camera traps will allow us greater insight into puma behavior and distribution, as well as, a better understanding of the distribution of prey across the landscape. Camera traps are a crucial tool to help us answer pressing questions that are essential in the long term conservation of pumas in the Bay Area.  

For more information on this project or to volunteer, send us an email at info@felidaefund.org
Bay Area Bobcat Study
 Quantifying Predator Value for Conservation

By Dr. Sonny Bleicher, Research and Development Manager
Conservation organizations always state that predators are economically beneficial to human populations for three main reasons: pest control, disease control and diversity sponsoring. Unsurprisingly, the science and the policy have a wide margin of error between them. 

We decided to use the Bay Area Bobcat Project, and the funds that have been raised for it to shorten the gap between the science and policy. If the science can attach an economic value to conservation, it would be easier to convince private landowners to invest in conservation on their own land.
We are in preliminary stages of a project that will quantify the impact of luring bobcats onto agricultural lands on the habitat selection and population densities of agricultural mammalian pests. Using trail camera, and collaring bobcats we will quantify visits of bobcats onto vineyards in Sonoma and Napa Counties and organic farms in San Mateo County. We will use optimal patch use theory (Brown, 1988) to map the fear that the predators impose on the agricultural pests (Pocket Gophers, Voles and Mice). We hope to show a strong correlation between increased predator activity and pest avoidance.

For more information on this project, email info@felidaefund.org. 

CAT Aware Education Program Re-Vamped

By Dr. Sonny Bleicher, Research and Development Manager
Since December the CAT Aware program has received a makeover and a cote of fresh ideas. The focus of the program now highlights the science of apex predator conservation, to fit hand in hand with the research goals of the Bay Area Puma Project. Our lectures now closely meet the requirements of the California Department of Education science education goals. The programs for high schools focus on the math of conservation, quantifying the effects that predators have on prey communities. The three major ecological theories taught in those lectures are: the Lotka-Volterra Predator Prey Interaction model (1920) showing the cyclical pattern of predators and prey population growth cycles; the green world hypothesis (Hairston, 1960) that highlights the role of predators in fostering vegetation diversity; And the Landscape of Fear (Laundré, 2001) where predators manage the habitat selection of prey. Middle schools are exposed to the same models, however in a less mathematically rigorous way. For younger audiences our programs now feature a tactile experience. The children will learn about the food chain and how the species have evolved to manage each other's population. They will now examine skulls of pumas, bobcats, deer and rodents and see how they are fit for the roles they play in nature.
Our laboratory exercise has not changed in essence, however the accompanying lectures now teach more terms of the science of ecological conservation. We define biological communities, population, generation times and the energetic structure of the food webs. We are currently working on building a new lab to expand our program availability. We hope to launch the predator-prey foraging lab in September 2016. In this program, the children will study how prey species understand risk in the urban environment through optimal patch use (Brown, 1988). This new lab uses the tradeoffs of food and safety where the children will run experiments at home, and an analysis in class will wrap the results together with a statistical analysis of the results with a discussion of the ecology of fear (Brown, 2010). 

CAT Aware Feb 2016

 100% of your donation goes to cat conservation

puma kitten
Header designed by Greg Martin  www.grmartin.com

Upcoming Events in the San Francisco Bay Area

Saturday, April 16
Ulistac Annual Wildflower Day
10 am-2 pm

Wednesday, April 20
San Francisco Green Film Fest - 50th Anniversary: UPROAR! Reception and Born Free
6:30 pm 

Saturday, April 23
John Muir Birthday-Earth Day Celebration 2016
10 am-4 pm

Saturday, April 23 
Earth Day Napa 2016
11 am-4 pm

Saturday, April 23
Earth Day Festival 2016 - Santa Rosa
12 pm-4 pm

Saturday, April 23
Earth Day 2016 at Oakland Zoo - Action for Wildlife! 
10 am-3 pm

Thursday, April 28
Mountain Lion Awareness Community Meeting in Solano County
7 pm-9 pm

Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12
Fairfax Eco-Fest 2016
11 am-6 pm, both days

Saturday, August 6
Oakland Zoo Lion Appreciation Day
10 am-3 pm

Report Your Puma Sightings on  bapp.org

Email info@felidaefund.org 
 with questions.

Announcing Double the Donation

Find out if your employer has a matching gift program and double your donation to Felidae!

To find out, simply click here and type in your company name. If your company is listed, you can fill out the forms and submit them right online. 

If your employer is not listed, ask your HR department if your company has a matching program or would be willing to consider one. You can then 'Add Your Employer' (on the page following the search page). 


Support Felidae by simply
SHOPPING on  AmazonSmile!

It's the same Amazon you know and love, but a percentage of your purchase will go toward wild cat conservation!

Meet the New Additions to the Felidae Team!
We are excited to introduce you to our new Staff members:

Dr. Sonny Bleicher, Research and Development Manager:  

Dr. Sonny Bleicher is an evolutionary ecologist who joined us in 2015. He 
has taken on the role of Educational Development Manager to bring the 
CAT Aware education program to the forefront of science pedagogy, while expanding the range of programs we offer. Additionally, Sonny is the Primary Investigator on the Bay Area Bobcat Project. Read more here.

Ray Dodd, Field Biologist for the Bay Area Puma Project: 

Ray Dodd received his B.S. in Ecology and Natural Resources from Rutgers in 2009 and his M.S. in Biology from East Stroudsburg University in 2012, where he studied the dietary overlap of coyotes and foxes. Ray most recently worked for USDA Wildlife Services as a biological technician primarily focusing on goose damage and wildlife management in New Jersey parks. Ray has worked for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Natural Resource Specialist conducting big game surveys and captures, disease sampling, and data analysis. Read more here.

Footage From the Archives

Puma Family Group in SF Bay Area
Puma Family Group in SF Bay Area
Share your wildlife footage with us at info@felidaefund.org!

Sponsor a Wildlife Camera
Gain access to what we see on a monthly basis  

One of the critical monitoring tools Felidae uses in the Bay Area Puma Project is the camera trap - a motion-activated camera that allows 

us to monitor cats and other wildlife remotely and non-invasively. 


A minimum donation of $300 

allows you direct access to the images captured by Felidae's camera traps. These stations are windows into the world of elusive mountain lions and bobcats. 

You choose one of three Bay Area regions for your camera and help us set it up in the field!

 Email us at

info@felidaefund.org to 

Sponsor a Camera



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