The puma project has dozens of trail cameras scattered throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains. Sometimes, the cameras record some really nice footage of other species that call the Bay Area home. It’s a great reminder that pumas and humans share this landscape with many other animals, all of whom play a vital role in the local ecosystem.
Recently, we got both videos and pictures of bucks fighting in two different parts of the mountains! Fall is rutting season for mule deer, when females go into heat and males battle to win their affections. This is also the season where we get the most roadkill donated to us, so watch out for crazy deer on the roads!
We also captured a rare sight of a bobcat mama with her kitten. The amazing thing is, we got a video of one mama-kitten pair and a photo of another pair in two completely different locations! Bobcats are very similar to pumas, in that they live solitary lives (except when they raise kittens), scrape to communicate, and are impressive hunters.
However, bobcats, being much smaller animals, are more easily seen and and feed on smaller animals like woodrats and rabbits (although they will occasionally take down a deer!). If you live near open spaces and want to help bobcats, please don’t use rodent poison around your house and keep your cats indoors as much as possible to reduce disease transmission.