National Geographic published a fantastic feature on urban pumas in their December issue.  The article includes an interactive map of pumas around Los Angeles,  as well as a stunning photo of an adult male puma walking through the hills of Griffith Park – a spot that many people visit every day.


Click on the map to check out the different hazards urban pumas face in Los Angeles. Each of these threats exists in the Santa Cruz Mountains as well.

With over 38 million people living in California (the majority of whom live in puma habitat), the photos from this article are a great reminder of how little conflict there is between humans and pumas.  All too often, we only hear about large carnivores when something has gone wrong – a young cat is deemed a safety threat and is shot after it wanders into an urban area, the extremely rare event in which a person is attacked, etc.  We don’t hear about the times when we walk past a puma sleeping under a tree and never even know it was there.  It’s refreshing to see an article that shows the public what we see as researchers – beautiful animals that are an important part of our shared environment.


One thousand miles northeast of L.A., and in a far more remote location, this photo of a 4 month old cub perched on an elk kill in Teton National Park is one of the beautiful photos from National Geographic.