Photo by @FransLanting I live on a wild stretch of the California coast with cougars as neighbors. They’re elusive, so I’ve deployed camera traps for years and have gotten to know them better, one by one. One of my favorite locations is an overgrown trail that comes out of a steep wooded canyon and passes right next to our land. One morning a wary male walked by an old oak tree festooned with lichen. The look in his eye epitomizes the character of this great cat. Cougars were nearly wiped out along the coast of California, but since they were given protection in 1990, they’ve rebounded. They now occur even at the edges of towns and cities, but they are very good at avoiding people. The comeback of cougars in California is a success story, and it shows what can happen if we’re tolerant of apex predators and if we’re protecting enough wild land where they can survive. Stay tuned for more images that celebrate the resurgence of wild California.
@thephotosociety @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #mountainlion #california #santacruz #MontereyBay #Panthera #wildlifephotography #nature #BigCatInitiative #celebrate #earthfocus #wildlifeplanet