Woodland stream.

Trail Cameras - Location is Everything!

Our camera team gives careful consideration to where we place cameras in the field to best capture the most wildlife movement. Believe it or not, it's a bit of an art to get the best coverage for the best results. When you're working with an array of cameras, as the Cosumnes River Preserve lion camera team is, you have a few things to consider: The size of the area Access to the area Human impact to the area What wildlife is already known to be in the area Where wildlife may be most likely to walk, known as wildlife travel corridors...

Puma or Coyote?

You're hiking in a beautiful, remote area and you come across some damp ground near a river. You look down and see some pretty big tracks. Could they belong to a puma? The tracks have claws showing but sometimes puma claws will show depending on the type of surface they're walking on. Who do you think made the tracks just below? (The answer is at the bottom of the page!) The way you can tell is the shape of the tracks and also when puma claw marks are visible they're usually sharp and thin...

Who's Scat is That?

Being out on the Preserve, walking where wildlife walks, the camera crew comes across a lot of scat. Scat provides important information about what wildlife is in the area, what these animals are eating and what kinds of resources are available. The thing to know about all scat is that it comes in many forms, colors and sizes and identifying scat can be challenging! Often scat can seem definitely distinctive and best guesses can be correct...

Scent-marking After a Rain

It rained on the Preserve earlier this week! Just a light rain in the early morning, not lasting long but it may have been long enough to trigger a territorial behavior in mountain lions called scent-marking. Mountain lions mark their territory in a few different ways, including marking a pile of dirt with feces or urine, known as a scratch pile, as well as scratch marking on trees, known as claw raking...

A Wet Year for Lions on the Preserve

As the season warms up and everything gets drier, there will be a lot more walking out to the remote cameras as driving increases the fire danger. Our dedicated camera team is ready to employ foot power in the hopes of getting a mountain lion on a trail camera in the next few weeks on the Preserve. Our last camera check took all day as we were scouting out former camera locations to see if they are still underwater...

Your Territory or Mine?

Mountain lion encounters can occur when you least expect them. While you wouldn't think of running into a lion in the Central Valley, they are here. Elusive and shy, lions instinctively stick to areas that allow them to remain undetected, where they feel safe and where they're least likely to encounter humans. The human population is rapidly growing and because there are more people encroaching on good lion habitat, people think they're seeing more lions...

Camera Team Deploys More Lion Cameras

Today, crew members spent the day in the field checking cameras and installing several new ones, hopefully on choke points and areas where a lion might wander. A choke point is an area where habitat has been narrowed by water, roadways or other geographic features, either natural or man-made, that impede wildlife travel. So a choke point, also known as a pinch point, is an excellent place to deploy a trail camera as this area will almost certainly get a higher number of animals traveling through...

Another Possible Sighting!

Today, there was another possible sighting of the mountain lion on the Preserve by a visitor who was hiking on one of the public trails. She says she saw a large cat with a long tail moving along the edge of a savannah area and then disappear into the oak woodland treeline! While this sighting is unconfirmed, it shows that folks are on high alert and watching for lion activity. It may be that this lion found Wednesday's cooler and windy weather a motivation to move after the previous few days' stifling heat...

What's Wild on the Preserve

There's an amazing variety of wildlife that calls the Cosumnes River Preserve their home! Many people are surprised to learn that the area is home to coyotes, beavers and bobcats, minks, weasels, black-tailed deer, grey foxes, river otters, badgers and that there's plenty of space and resources to provide safe haven for a mountain lion. To date, it doesn't appear that there is a resident mountain lion on the Preserve, but in recent years there have been sightings by reliable sources, tracks and several years ago a young lion was killed trying to cross Highway 99 trying to get to the Preserve...

So You Think You Saw a Mountain Lion?

Many people come back from hikes or drives certain they've seen a mountain lion. While lions are elusive and mainly avoid people, they do show up sunning on rocks, as an exciting and unexpected sight on a walk out in nature, or as a brief glimpse dashing across a road or highway. But many folks mistake bobcats and even domestic cats for lions. In the adrenaline-filled moment when you think you're seeing a lion, we can forget to look for the most distinctive details that will tell you whether the feline you're seeing is a lion or not...
The Mountain Lion Foundation is a tax-deductible non-profit organization, tax exempt under
Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code (Federal I.D. # 94-3015360)

Copyright 1988-2021. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.