Meetings are always held in the same location, at Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Tiburon, each month. There is no speaker event in July or August. Programs focus on birds and other natural history and are given by experts in their field. Programs are free and open to the public.
Currently scheduled Speaker Series events are listed here by date in ascending order (i.e., soonest first). For a list of past and currently scheduled Speaker Series events click here.
Mountain Lions in California - The Last Two Decades of Research
Speaker: T. Winston Vickers, DVM, MPVM
Host: lowell Sykes, 415-388-2821
Start Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017
Start Time: 7:30 PM
End Time: 9:00 PM
Description: Since 2001 the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, a division of the School of Veterinary Medicine, has been conducting research into mountain lions (Puma concolor) in order to better understand all of the dynamics of this species: their prey choices, habitat needs, interactions with humans and domestic animals, use of and travel patterns on the landscape, the effects of fire, survival rates and mortality sources, disease and toxin exposure and effects, and genetic connectivity. Dr. Vickers has been Co-Principal Investigator and field lead for the UC Davis study since 2003, and though the primary study has been focused on southern California, he is now directly involved in collaborative studies in Sonoma County and in far northern California, and is a collaborator in studies involving mountain lions elsewhere in the state as well as in Colorado and Florida. In this talk, Dr. Vickers will detail his study's findings, and those of other researchers, relating to how a wide array of factors affect the expectations for long term health of mountain lion populations in different regions of California. The news for puma conservation in some rapidly growing regions is not good; low annual survival rates, low genetic diversity, and worsening habitat loss and fragmentation all threaten specific populations with possible extirpation. Other populations appear to be generally healthy, and understanding the factors dividing the two is important. Specific measures that are being taken to mitigate some of the threats to various populations will be discussed.