Category: Ecosystem

Mountain Lion Latrines and a Scent Dog

The highly-tuned nose of a talented scent dog found mountain lion latrines at the rim of the canyon. Latrines are spots where pumas, often family groups, will repeatedly defecate; they are the mountain lion equivalent of toilets, except instead of flushing, pumas cover their excrement in these locations. But, lions don’t arbitrarily choose places for […]

Why Steal a Wildlife Research Trail Camera?

Dusky footed wood rat home.

Why steal a research trail camera in the canyon where we are recording wildlife? That stolen trail camera was an important conservation tool and the videos it recorded helped educate the public about the impact of urbanization on our local wildlife. And, the footage was also appreciated by the community. Neighbors who live at the […]

A Wildlife Oasis in Suburbia

Puma mom and cub in a wildlife oasis

The 88-acre canyon is a wildlife oasis, regularly visited by puma, coyote, deer and other animals, located in the middle of a suburban landscape. It is shoehorned between homes and businesses, perched on the rim of the canyon, bordered by busy roads and separated from other similar, small wild spaces. Fragments of the Wild Although […]

The Devastating Impact of Blocking Wildlife Corridors

Buck entangled in barbed wire--unable to access wildlife corridor

Some types of fencing and barriers can have the same harmful affect on ecosystems as highways do—they block apparent wildlife corridors* and may limit gene pools, separate animal families and negatively impact wildlife food sources. Additionally, homeowners in suburbia and urban edge areas are directly affected when these wildlife corridors are blocked. Unable to access […]

A Ten day Glimpse of Urban Wildlife in the Canyon

Bobcat urban wildlife

For the last few years, strategically placed trail cameras have recorded the stories and lives of the wild animals in a special suburban wild-space that is surrounded by roads and buildings. Recent videos from the cams give us a ten day glimpse of urban wildlife in the canyon. It’s always a delight to review the […]

Where are the Wild Animals?

Comparison of off leash dogs 2019-2021

Not too long ago the trails in the little canyon in San Mateo County, California were rich with a wide diversity of wild animals including animal species that are designated as California Species of Concern*. Until recently, the trail cameras filmed lots of animal action—a large number used to patrol, mark and play on and […]

The World Turned Upside Down

George Tuck

I owe all of you an explanation. For understandable reasons I lost my writing mojo for about six months. Covid-19 didn’t help the situation and neither did the recent devastating fires that caused me, along with thousands of other people to evacuate out of our homes in the mountains. I’m thankful that the gorgeous redwoods […]

The Latest News about Coyote 09M

Coyote 09M

Coyote 09M, like others of his species, is extremely smart. He’s beaten the odds and is thriving in a dangerous and competitive environment. 09M’s one of the lucky ones; in fact he’s now the only confirmed living member of his natal family. Despite being highly intelligent and quick learners, only 50% of coyote pups live […]

November Highlights: Animals Adjust to Shrinking Habitats

Bobcat on the trail

Adapting for survival The wildlife in the little canyon, like in other open spaces that are squeezed in by urbanization, must adapt and adjust to shrinking habitats that are increasingly fragmented by highways and buildings. Predators, being territorial, need lots of open, wild acreage to live and hunt in. Additionally, some predators, such as mountain […]

Wildlife Highlights from the Canyon

Vulture

Life and Death in the Canyon Despite the canyon being only 93 acres, hemmed in by homes and roads, it’s a complete eco-system where plants and animals are interdependent. The death of one organism means many others will live. The lesson hit home a couple of weeks ago when a small deer was killed by […]