Hello, and welcome to my blog. This blog reflects my journey from engineer to citizen scientist and mountain lion advocate.
Why mountain lions? When I applied to volunteer at several of the big cat sanctuaries in the US, one of them asked “what is your favorite big cat?” That kind of threw me, because I had never thought about it before. I like all cats, large and small. But, what makes mountain lions so special, to me, at least, is that they have adapted quite well to life with humans in close proximity. Because of their stealth and adaptability, they can live in desert mountains, and Florida swamps, and even in the midst of a large city. They are an iconic species of the Americas.
In May of 2015, I decided to take a month off from my engineering job and join a research party tracking mountain lions in Argentina. Felidae from California was able to connect me with the Argentina Puma project. That was definitely a life-changing experience for me.
Since my return to New Mexico, I’ve become more active in local wildlife activities. I also learned, while on expedition in Argentina, that if a group hopes to collar a big cat, they usually need a veterinarian, and, that if they have a vet, they often need a vet tech. So I am taking vet tech classes in preparation for this next phase of my life. I also work with local groups to set trail cameras and gather information on local pumas.
On a hike last week, the two of us hiking found mountain lion tracks, and some scat that is potentially from a mountain lion. Not sure, but the scat is now in my freezer while waiting to see if someone can confirm it or DNA test it. Luckily, my husband is very understanding!
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