Jul 3, 2024
Behind the Scenes at Coexistence Camp 2024

The mission of the Mountain Lion Foundation is to ensure that America’s lion survives and flourishes in the wild. Our programs are designed to raise awareness about the importance of mountain lions and their roles in healthy ecosystems, advocate for policies that protect mountain lions, and support coexistence with these incredible carnivores.

A primary component of our coexistence programming is the Coexistence Ambassadors program, which trains people from around the country to be proactive ambassadors for human-lion coexistence in their own communities.

Every year, Coexistence Ambassadors receive hands-on training at Coexistence Camp, a weekend workshop on a regenerative sheep ranch in Mendocino County, California that is a successful model for small-scale ranching in lion country. At camp, Ambassadors learn:

  • The basics of mountain lion biology and behavior
  • How to present information to the public, including tabling at a public event and giving a community talk
  • Indigenous perspectives on coexistence
  • Tips on responding to urgent requests from livestock owners that are respectful and productive
  • Incident assessments, including wildlife tracking and “barnyard CSI” to determine what kind of animal may have been responsible for livestock losses
  • Trends and commonalities in how mountain lions are managed by state wildlife agencies across the country
  • Understanding coexistence tools in the field, like electric fences, deterrent devices and livestock guardian dogs


Coexistence Camp 2024 just happened! Here’s a sneak peek into the incredible weekend:

Tatum from Xa Kako Dile opens camp with a Pomo prayer. Photo by Chasity Smith.
Gowan Batist, Coexistence Programs Manager, introduces the Saturday program near the olive grove. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Gowan gives a tour of the Herbalists without Borders herb garden. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Hunter and little Griffin check in with the sheep flock while the group learns about deterrent fencing for rotation grazing. Photo by Chasity Smith.
Coexistence Ambassador Cody Hess visits with Cookie the sheep. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Paige Munson, Mountain Lion Foundation Science and Policy Coordinator, and Robin Parks, California Field Representative, get to know Chego the Livestock Guardian Dog. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Gowan presents on how to identify a mountain lion deer kill. Brambles the cat assists. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Robin talks about the Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF) in California, which was recently safeguarded from state budget cuts. The HCF was established in 1990 by Prop 117 which also banned mountain lion hunting. California was the first, and remains the only, state where it is illegal to hunt cougars for sport. Photo by Chasity Smith.
Brent Lyles, Mountain Lion Foundation Executive Director, films a short video about the importance of coexistence programming. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Gowan leads a tour of a predator-proof poultry set-up. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Hunter leads the group on a wildlife tracking hike to the beach. We saw signs of bobcat, mountain lion, black bear, grey fox, squirrel, gopher, shrew, osprey, and river otter. Photo by Chasity Smith.
Beginning of wildlife tracking hike. Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.
Spectacular end of wildlife tracking hike and Coexistence Camp 2024! Photo by Elizabeth Bennett.

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