By Neal Sharma,
Wildlife Linkages Program Manager

As we shared last month, we have started following some the resident bobcats of Coyote Valley, in an effort to help us understand how the landscape is used by wildlife.

Over the next one to two years, we will be tracking the movements of these animals using radio-collars that specialize in capturing fine-scale movement data. Using this technology, we will be able to understand habitat preferences, daily and seasonal movement patterns, road crossing hotspots and more.

Wildlife in Coyote Valley face many challenges in their day-to-day lives. Loss of habitat and busy roadways are some of the pressures that pose a threat to their survival ­— both now and in the future. As we work to protect and restore the landscape, we will need to use the best available data in order to inform conservation outcomes. 

Meet five of these individuals below:

 

Bobcat California - POST

B01M also known as:

Serpentine

An adult male captured on Tulare Hill and radio-collared on June 1, 2017. He weighs 7.5kg and is small for an adult male. Scars and tattered ears show that he’s “been around the block.” So far, he has shown his territory to be the Tulare Hill and north Coyote Valley.

Bobcat California - POST

B03F also known as:

Sage

An adult female captured in the north Coyote Valley and radio-
collared on June 30, 2017. She weighs 7.1kg and has several scars, indicating that she has had to defend her territory, which so far consists of the north Coyote Valley and the foothills spanning down into mid-Coyote Valley. She had kittens this year, and we hope to record them traveling together via camera stations.

Bobcat California - POST

B04M also known as:

Willow

The youngest cat in the study thus far, at one to two years of age. This young male weighs 6.5 kg, was very healthy looking and was also collared in the north Coyote Valley not far from where Sage was found. She might even be his mother! So far, he has been traveling around the ponds in north Coyote Valley, adjacent to agricultural fields.

Bobcat California - POST

B05F also known as:

Savannah

An adult female also captured
in the north Coyote Valley, by Bailey Road. She was radio-collared on July 3, 2017 and weighs 6.65kg. She has a beautiful coat and looked very healthy. Is she the bobcat we have seen passing underneath Bailey Road bridge on our wildlife cameras? We are trying to find out.

Bobcat California - POST

B02F also known as:

Elderberry

An adult female also captured at Tulare Hill and radio-collared on June 19, 2017. She weighs 6.25kg and has a healthy and beautiful coat. She appears to have had kittens either this year or last year. So far, she has been traveling through the Coyote Creek County Park and under the northern Highway 101 Coyote Creek underpass.

In late July Elderberry was killed by a vehicle on Monterey Highway. This tragedy underscores the need for safe wildlife passages in the area.

Curious what these cats sound like? Listen here:

                                       
This study is made possible with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, POST donors and is being completed in partnership with Wilmers Lab at UC Santa Cruz, Pathways for Wildlife and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority.
Photos: Bobcat in grasslands, Teddy Miller 2016; Bobcat profiles, Laurel Serieys 2017
  • Virginia Slagley

    I have a bobcat who travels through this property, hunting in the early AM. Eyes shine bright orange by flashlight.

  • Mustanglovely

    These are such beautiful cats. I hope they can have more safe passageways so that they won’t get hit by traffic as they try to cross roads or highways. How sad. I see lots of skunks that happens to. Thats sad too, poor things. (Not to mention the smell). But they don’t deserve to get hit by cars. Cars often fly through around here & even animals as tiny as baby gopher snakes can become victims.

    • Thanks for your comment! Through this work we will be able to pinpoint areas where wildlife are experiencing the most trouble with road crossings. We’ll use this information to inform our conservation priorities and will work to help improve the landscape for their safety. We’re excited for the work ahead. Thanks again for your interest.

  • John W. Wall

    Do you produce maps of their travels? Would love to see that.

    • Hi John! Yes, we have shared one map of these cat’s travels across the landscape. You can find that in the link below (the first post in this series). The information in this map was over a month old when we shared it – as to protect the cat’s actual location. Hope you enjoy learning more and thanks for reaching out! https://openspacetrust.org/blog/coyote-valley-1/

      • John W. Wall

        I’m not seeing the map on either Chrome or IE, just a blank space with the caption.

        • Hi John, thanks for your patience and for bringing this to our attention. For some reason that video wasn’t displaying correctly. It’s something I’ll have our website manager look into. However, I was able to get it working. You might need to view this in an incognito window for it to work (or clear your cache). Here’s the link: https://openspacetrust.org/blog/coyote-valley-1/

          Thanks again,

          Matt

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Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects and cares for open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 75,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

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