“2021 marks the final leg of this three-year study. With your support, researchers are analyzing remote camera images, as well as scat and other genetic material collected during recent field surveys, to identify individual lions; figure out where they live, hunt and roam in the park; and ultimately, estimate the overall population size. In addition to contributing to scientific understanding of mountain lions, this research will inform plans to protect the species in Yosemite and throughout California.”
Mountain lion poo detecting dogs are just one of dozens of new projects happening behind the scenes in Yosemite National Park funded by $15.3 million in donations from the park’s main philanthropic partner, Yosemite Conservancy.
Researchers have been using specially trained dogs to find mountain lion scat to conduct a survey of the population by collecting genetic samples“without disrupting the lions or their habitat.” Results will inform efforts to protect the species and make sure Yosemite serves as a habitat haven for California’s mountain lions.
“Mountain lions fill an important niche in the park. As a keystone species, they regulate populations of prey animals, such as deer and raccoons, and influence the movements of other predators, such as coyotes and bears. Yosemite has the potential to serve as a refuge for California’s mountain lions, which face threats from statewide habitat loss.