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A Project of Woodland Park Zoo's Living Northwest


About the Project

The Washington Urban–Wildland Carnivore Project is exploring ways to promote coexistence among humans and carnivores in King County. A collaboration between Woodland Park Zoo and the University of Washington (UW) School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the research explores how carnivores respond to urbanization and human activity by studying where and when they occur, what they eat, and what happens to the system when apex carnivores are absent. Woodland Park Zoo Senior Conservation Fellow Robert Long, PhD, oversees the project for the zoo, and UW graduate student Michael Havrda coordinates and conducts research on the ground. Mr. Havrda is co-advised by Aaron Wirsing, PhD, from the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

Focal species include cougars (Puma concolor), black bears (Ursus americanus), bobcats (Lynx rufus), coyotes (Canis latrans), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and domestic cats (Felis catus).

As human development continues to expand, research on species that occur within the urban–wildland gradient helps set the stage for land-use planning, public education, outreach and conservation. We are deploying remote cameras in forest patches on federal, state, municipal and private lands along a gradient of human development intensity, from urban to wildland. The cameras are placed along game or human trails, roads or other landscape features that maximize the probability of detecting the focal species. At camera sites we are also opportunistically collecting scat samples that will be sent to the U.S. Forest Service’s National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation in Missoula, Montana for diet-focused genomic testing.



Call for Community Participation: Seeking Backyard Access

Our study relies on placing wildlife monitoring cameras along a gradient of human development and activity in King County. This requires access to private property within our study area—meaning your yard! By allowing us to place a camera on your property you are not only helping conduct valuable scientific research, but you also get the opportunity to see what type of wildlife may be visiting your home.

Read the full details for participation


Jaguar camera trap

To participate in our research and have a camera installed on your property, please contact:

Michael Havrda
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
University of Washington







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