ACR’s Living with Lions project has formed a new partnership with Dr. Justin Brashares and the Brashares Lab of UC Berkeley.
“Collaborating with one of the top research groups and universities in conservation science will allow us to enrich our unique skill sets,” said John Petersen, ACR’s executive director.
The joint operation expands the study area of ACR’s Living with Lions from 1,000 square miles of the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma and Napa Counties to expand into Mendocino County and include the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center, site of the Lab’s deer behavior and collaring program. “We’re excited about opportunities to broaden our knowledge of the regional lion population, research effective mitigating measures to protect livestock against predators, as well as conduct in-depth research on mountain lion foraging behavior,” said Dr. Quinton Martins, the project’s lead investigator.
Research project reconstituted after the Nuns fire
ACR’s Mountain Lion Project, based from Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen, was heavily impacted by the Nuns fire last October. The project’s offices and electronics were destroyed, along with a substantial amount of field equipment, including vehicles, high-tech cage-traps and cellular cameras. Research came to an abrupt halt while the team rebuilt needed infrastructure, aided by generous donations received from all areas of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Happily, all collared lions being tracked at the time of the fire managed to survive.
In January, ACR relaunched the project as Living with Lions and expanded the goals of the project to partner with landowners and managers to implement the best methods to deter mountain lions from preying on pets and livestock, a problem identified by field researchers and landowner over the past two years.
With new equipment up and running, the team has since captured five mountain lions, placing collars on three adults and replacing a failing battery on the GPS collar of P5, the resident male mountain lion in the Sonoma Mountain/Mayacamas Mountains range.