June 14, 2017

For the past several months, ACR’s Quinton Martins and Keysight’s Neil Martin have been developing a new walk-through cage trap that utilizes ultrasonic electronic sensors and has become ACR’s main safe-capture method. Because of trapping restrictions in California, or as an additional “tool” for biologists in other states or around the world, this cage design should be very useful. Some of the benefits include: no bait is necessary; researchers can trap all-year round with no seasonal limitations due to bait degradation; set electronic timer to have cage active only when capture teams are on standby; and researchers can set the ultrasonic electronic sensors to target size-specific animals, avoiding capture on non-target species.

The two presented the cage trap at the 12th...

April 08, 2017
10-day-old mountain lion kittens - copyright Audubon Canyon Ranch egret.org

4/7/17: Team discovers 10-day old mountain lion kittens belonging to P1.
On April 7 our mountain lion research team announced the discovery of three 10-day old mountain lion kittens belonging to P1, a female mountain lion enlisted in our research study. The den was located the Glen Ellen / Kenwood vicinity of Sonoma County. The team was able to capture photos and video of the tiny lions from a distance. The kittens were not touched or handled at all.

This marks the first offspring born to a subject of the study and was especially exciting for lead researcher Dr. Quinton Martins...

February 22, 2017

Note: If the video does not appear in this space, please visit http://abc7news.com/1770142/ for viewing.

We were thrilled to welcome the ABC7News special projects team to join us on our search for mountain lions in the hills of Sonoma. The news crew filmed behind the scenes, interviewed our team and local landowners and captured the latest developments this week. This captivating story was featured by ABC7News (KGO Bay Area) Thursday, February 23.

Fourth Mountain Lion Captured

Just before this aired, our research team was thrilled to capture a fourth female mountain lion in four months. The latest big...

February 08, 2017

We humans have come up with some poetic collective nouns for animals. A murder of crows. A parliament of owls. Even a shrewdness of apes (now also the name of a band). So it seems we missed the proverbial lily pad when we came up with the term “army” to describe the millions of frogs that welcome spring with their delightful and often deafening chorus. As few Californians are more joyously vocal about the possible end to the California drought this year, I humbly offer a happiness of frogs as an alternative.

The frogs we hear performing their seasonal symphony right now in the North Bay are Pacific chorus frogs, or sometimes called simply tree frogs. Sticklers for taxonomic accuracy will correctly point out that our local Pacific chorus...
February 01, 2017

ACR staff and volunteers conducted the second of four annual waterbird counts on Tomales Bay in mid-January. The team of 17, including 11 volunteers, launched from the Marshall Boat Works in three boats and made a complete sweep of the bay over the course of the chilly but clear morning.

Approximately 19,400 waterbirds were counted, which is low relative to past seasons when as many as 35,000 birds could be seen. Highlights included the sighting of three Caspian Terns, a common sight on Tomales Bay in summer, but rarely seen in winter, and at least one Black Scoter, a lovely bird that is thought to be in decline. Bufflehead and Greater Scaup were most numerous (counted about 6,300 Bufflehead and 6,400 Scaup), and although gulls are counted during the Christmas Bird Count, they...

December 13, 2016

Visitors to Martin Griffin Preserve in Stinson Beach and Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen this month were greeted with friendly waves from the Pure Power Solutions team installing our new solar panels.



Roof-mounted system at Martin Griffin Preserve, Stinson Beach 

ACR's Board of Directors in November unanimously backed an innovative approach to a major...

December 02, 2016

On November 13, 2016, our mountain lion research team fitted a second mountain lion with a satellite telemetry collar. The mountain lion is a juvenile female, estimated to be 13.5 months old, and soon to disperse from its mother. The team had tracked this mountain lion for a little over a month, after placing a collar on her mother in early October. The juvenile was captured on property bordering Annadel State Park near Santa Rosa, California. After outfitting the lion with a GPS collar, recording measurements and collecting biological samples for analysis, the research team released the mountain lion at the capture site.

Named P2 (Puma 2) for our scientific records, the mountain lion weighs about 70 pounds and is in extremely good health. “Mom (P1) has been feeding her well!”...

October 24, 2016

During winter, over 35,000 waterbirds, along with tens of thousands of shorebirds and gulls, pack the surface waters of Tomales Bay. This extraordinary phenomenon led, in 2002, to global recognition of Tomales Bay as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.

For three decades ACR has tracked the abundances of nearly 60 species of loons, grebes, cormorants, ducks and other waterbirds in the bay. These studies have revealed patterns of winter population growth and decline that are complicated enough to seem mysterious.

A magnet for herring spawning

Beneath the surface, tens of millions of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) also enter the bay each winter, to spawn in the vast, subtidal meadows of eelgrass. These events precipitate spectacular waterbird feeding...

October 06, 2016

ACR has advanced its mountain lion research and education project with its first collaring of an adult female mountain lion on a Sonoma Land Trust property in the Sonoma Valley last night. After outfitting the lion with a GPS collar, recording measurements and collecting blood, tissue and other biological samples, the research team released the mountain lion at the capture site. 

Named P1 (Puma 1) for our scientific records, the mountain lion is estimated to be approximately 8-10 years old, as indicated by her dental condition. The capture, led  by ACR Wildlife Ecologist and Principal Investigator for the project Dr. Quinton Martins, was attended by ACR staff, veterinarians Dr. Winston Vickers and Dr. Sophia Papageorgiou, and Tony Nelson of the Sonoma Land Trust.

September 26, 2016

Many supporters and volunteers of ACR have reached out to us over the weekend, concerned about how Modini Mayacamas Preserves and our staff may be affected by the Sawmill fire in northeast Sonoma County.

As of Monday morning, Modini Mayacamas Preserves is not in the path of this fire, winds continue to push it in other directions. We remain vigilant, as things can always change.

Kudos to the Press Democrat for highlighting an important point in their most recent article.

Here’s the gist of what the firefighters on the ground were telling them: In high temperatures, steep terrain and drought-stressed vegetation, it is burn scars from recent fires that can stop...