First Puma Seen Using New Highway 17 Wildlife Crossing

WCN’s California Wildlife Program (CWP) is excited to report that the first puma has been recorded using a recently-constructed wildlife crossing under CA Highway 17 in Santa Cruz County. A CWP grant to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County made it possible to monitor the effectiveness of this important crossing, which has now been successfully used by puma, bobcats, gray foxes, and deer. See the video below to watch this puma safely crossing beneath the highway:

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Construction was completed in 2022 following more than a decade of steady work led by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and Caltrans, and was informed by years of research by the UCSC Puma Project and Pathways for Wildlife. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and Graniterock were also key contributors, illustrating the extensive collaborations that brought this project to fruition.

puma mountain lion California Sebastian Kennerknecht

CWP was instrumental in funding the monitoring for the completed crossing, allowing all parties to measure the effectiveness of this project, including through videos like the one of this puma. This crossing is placed in a very important location for wildlife connectivity, but more crossings like this are needed throughout California. CWP is currently working with many groups to get more crossings built to provide safe travel across busy roadways for pumas and countless other wildlife.

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