Living with Mountain Lions in the Sierra Foothills

In February, author Leslie Patten gave a talk at the Berkeley REI store on her recently published book: Ghost Walker – Tracking a Mountain Lion’s Soul Through Science & Story.  Leslie’s “backyard shares the Absaroka Range with Yellowstone Park’s eastern edge”.  She is formerly from California.  Two mountain lion focused studies exist in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  With the return of wolves into these parks, the studies are especially interesting.  And since it is said that half of California is mountain lion habitat, it may be a subject of interest to us.  Leslie interviewed advocates, ranchers, biologists, hunters, trackers and hounds’ men.  She also used trail cameras to perform her own research and worked alongside other reputed authorities.  Resurrected stories are woven through a plethora of data and information, making the book interesting and easy to read.  The Keep Me Wild: Mountain Lion campaign associated with California Department of Fish and Wildlife is another good resource.  Leslie states that deer can make up as much as 98% of the diet for a healthy adult mountain lion.  Even though it is legal in some States to feed deer, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife states that it is illegal to feed deer in this State since it may attract mountain lions.  The book provides an excellent guide to those of us who live in or near mountain lion habitat.

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