Bay Area Puma Project Begins in East Bay
We have embarked on a new initiative here in the San Francisco Bay area called Bay Area Puma Project. The project began in 2007 when Felidae Conservation Fund and its Scientific Advisors determined that what was needed to protect and sustain Bay Area puma populations was an innovative merging of scientific research and public education. This unusual mix enables the project to leverage its scientific insights to change public attitudes, and produce maximum conservation benefits for the local environment. SInce then the project has seen the capture and collar of 35 mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The BAPP is now launching in the East Bay in the region from Berkeley to Mount Diablo down thru the Sunol and Ohlone Wilderness East of San Jose. The project is significant in many ways but most importantly that the plan, strategy and actual field work is being conducted by Felidae COnservation Fund staff rather than the usual state and federal agencies.
This Private-Public partnership is the way forward for conservation projects in the US as government agencies are marginalize by special interest groups on both sides and crashing operating budgets. For Felidae, this is a big but natural step for the team and their ability to work with CA Fish and Wildlife, NPS and the various land trusts, community parts and land owners in the study area. All the required state permits are in place so the project will get underway in the Ohlone and Sunol wilderness next month. The field research project will last 10 years with an active educational and outreach program targeted to schools and community groups. And the work is being funded by MVF along with Disney, Packard and several family foundations.