Currently Permitted Mountain Lion Research Projects

Pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 4810, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife may issue a Scientific Collecting Permit to entities for research projects involving mountain lion captures. This page provides an Executive Summary for CDFW-permitted mountain lion research projects currently occurring in California.

Southern California Mountain Lion Study

University of California, Davis - Wildlife Health Center
Dr. Winston Vickers, DVM, MPVM

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This study is examining impacts of development on connectivity and mountain lions in southern and central California where the landscape is highly fragmented by previous and ongoing and/or planned urban development. This research will expand knowledge regarding mountain lion disease and toxin exposure, genetics, and interactions with humans, and domestic animals in a highly urbanized landscape.

Santa Cruz Puma Project

University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Chris W. Wilmers, PhD

This study contributes to the knowledge of natural wildlife ecosystems by evaluating the relationship between landscape features, energetic demand, physiological capabilities, and foraging strategies in the puma. Developing an understanding of the physiological demands and ecology of large predators in fragmented habitats will thus be crucial to preserving these species and their impacts on ecosystem processes.

Sonoma Mountain Lion Project

Audubon Canyon Ranch
Dr. Quinton Martins, Ph.D.

This project is focused on mountain lion habitat and foraging patterns in the fragmented landscape of California’s San Francisco North Bay Area. Further, this project conducts community outreach and education of research findings and works to increase public awareness of the ecological benefits of mountain lions in an attempt to foster coexistence between people and large carnivores.

Siskiyou Deer and Mountain Lion Research Project

University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Chris W. Wilmers, Ph.D.

This study examines mountain lion ecology and interactions with mule deer and elk in northern California (Siskiyou Counties) to understand impacts of mountain lions on these big game species.

Modoc Plateau Mountain Lion Project

Institute for Wildlife Studies
Mr. Dave Garcelon

This study investigates mountain lion ecology and interactions with pronghorn antelope in the northeastern corner of California (Modoc and Lassen Counties) to understand impacts of mountain lions on this big game species.

Hoopa Mountain Lion Project

Integral Ecology Research Center
Dr. Greta Wengert

This study examines impacts of illegal marijuana cultivation on mountain lion ecology (e.g., movement and foraging patterns).

Santa Monica Mountain Lion Project

National Park Service
Dr. Seth Riley

This project examines movement and demographic patterns in of a genetically isolated mountain lion population in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and in the adjacent Simi Hills, Santa Susana Mountains, and Verdugo Mountains. This research is guiding efforts to restore wildlife connectivity in this highly fragmented landscape.

Statewide Mountain Lion DNA Biopsy Darting Project

USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services
Mr. Dennis Orthmeyer

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This project aids California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s attempts to understand mountain lion ecology and genetics statewide by acquiring additional mountain lion DNA samples from poorly sampled areas within California as well as focal areas for developing genetic population estimation techniques.