FELIDAE CONSERVATION FUND

Innovating for Healthy Ecosystems

aka The Bay Area Puma Project   |   Mill Valley, CA   |  www.felidaefund.org

Mission

Improving the state of global wild cat ecosystems through a fusion of research, education and online technologies to benefit humanity and drive meaningful change in the natural world.

Felidae's multipronged approach combines forward-looking research, education and technology to discover new approaches to in situ felid preservation, and reach worldwide audiences through technology and social media. We partner and provide leadership for world-class research studies, supplying strategy, planning, funding, media, field support and assistance with logistics. With our innovative interactive education programs we share data and learning from these studies with the public in a way that's engaging and inspiring.

Notes from the nonprofit

The pandemic has shifted our activities over the past 2 years, however we have remained resilient and continue to grow and conduct our important work

Ruling year info

2006

President

Zara McDonald

Main address

100 Shoreline Hwy Suite 100B

Mill Valley, CA 94941 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-5089093

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wildlife and urban landscapes are interacting more and more; human wildlife conflict along the "urban edge" is increasing. Local residents must become the stewards of the wild if key areas of biodiversity around urban centers are to survive and thrive. Science that leads to greater understanding of wildlife, education and outreach into local communities about their wildlife-urban edge and deep engagement of local individuals as stewards of this urban edge can have an enormous impact. In the US many conservation efforts are directed at preserving the wildland, habitat, wildlife. Little is directed to the urban edge where biodiversity is often at its peak and where species are learning to adapt. However, they cannot adapt without human support and wildlife is losing ground as urban centers expand. In the US alone urban areas have expanded to accommodate a growing population. This growth pushes into wildland areas and leads to habitat fragmentation, pollution and biodiversity decline.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Bay Area Puma Project

The Bay Area Puma Project is the first major study of pumas (also called mountain lions or cougars) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Launched in May 2008 in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the study is currently underway with 4 cats fitted with GPS-accelerometer collars. This project is the first phase of a projected 10 year conservation effort to preserve and protect the Bay Area puma population. The study is being led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz with collaboration and support from Felidae Conservation Fund, and coordination from the California Department of Fish and Game and California State Parks.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

This research and conservation project is addressing the recently intensified threats to the survival of a population of pumas that is both on the edge of extinction and at the edge of the species' distribution range in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Leading community members to conserve cheetah - now considered endangered and vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN - in the Tsavo region of Kenya where the largest population of cheetah currently inhabits protected and unprotected areas.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Students accompany us on field trips into lion country - to check cameras, look for scat and tracks and learn about the local ecology. The pandemic brought this program to a halt temporarily.

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

CAT Aware offers teachers a field trip for their students during which students travel to "lion country" and learn about biodiversity, look for wild cat tracks and scat and experience nature.

Number of homeowners/tenants rating their feeling of safety in and around their homes as satisfactory

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of attendees present at rallies/events

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Families

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We table at large events and speak at smaller community events about mountain lions, their threat to humans and how better we can all live with them; mostly virtual events in the last 2 years.

Number of people influenced to undertake conservation action

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We do measure perception pre- and post our community briefings and talks. However we influence thousands to take action with the events, our new website and our intensive community engagement work

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Seniors

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We work with approximately 600 volunteers today, a group that has grown steadily each year; they assist with research, design (Print, web mobile) and as educators an event managers. Thanks to them all

Number of critically endangered species in the region that have their conservation needs assessed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We assess the health, movement, habitat and general condition of pumas and bobcats.

Number of community initiatives in which the organization participates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We virtually attend more than 30 events each year; we speak at about 35 community gatherings at Libraries and other public spaces. We partner with communities directly.

Number of wildlife care situations resolved without animal intake

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Mountain lion sightings and resulting fear required education and communication with communities repeatedly

Number of instances of poaching avoided or impeded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Education and community engagement to reduce poaching of mountain lions

Number of children who have the ability to understand and comprehend communication

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our pre- and post-Cat Aware surveys measure children's response to our materials and their changing attitudes towards wildlife.

Number of conservation areas with evidence that illegal activities causing key threats have declined or stabilized

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Bay Area Puma Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We work in 9 Bay Area counties and on 40 land owner properties. We are actively working to mitigate conflict & change tolerance levels especially where there are livestock and hobby animals, and pets.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Using apex predators - large wild cats - as a focal point , we conserve wildlife in the urban-wildland edge. Our goal is to establish a model of urban edge conservation in the San Francisco Bay area - a biodiversity "hotspot" that has seen significant urban growth in recent years. In a corridor north of Santa Rosa, through San Francisco and south to San Jose a resplendent and critical wild graces our living. While several organizations work to conserve this "wild", local residents are the true beneficiaries of this wild and the logical stewards as well. The Bay Area Puma Project engages local residents in stewardship of the urban-wildland edge through citizen science opportunities, volunteer opportunities, community discussions and field trips, and in-school education programs. We employ the charismatic puma and the striking bobcat as our research targets, understanding that their presence is a sign of and vital to our area's biodiversity. Combining real science - garnered from data collected using cameras, biological sampling (scat, fur and collected carcasses) and GPS tracking of puma we identify populations, estimate their occurrence and density, analyze their health and resilience, follow their movements. We use this data to inform local agencies, developers and transit authorities about wild cat activity, particularly to better understand how populations are thriving, connecting and interacting with areas of human development. We also use our data to better understand wild cat behavior and condition in order to contribute to the greater knowledgebase on pumas. Finally we share our data with communities in order to inspire stewardship and reduce fears about living with wildlife. We believe a corps of approximately 1,000 active volunteers (2-4 hours/month) will be a strong stewardship team for this area. So we seek to raise our current volunteer roster from 300 to 1,000 this coming year! And we seek to work with other conservation groups across the Bay Area to assure a positive future for the area's wildlife and for the people living with and around it. We are currently focused on connectivity and exposure to toxins such as anticoagulant rodenticides, and out data collection will assess the correlation of stress hormones, coupled with endoparasitic loads as well as toxicant exposures through collection of scat and hair DNA.

Research: conduct rigorous holistic research in our study areas via data collection using cameras, scat and hair for DNA, and using citizen scientists led by professional biologists; Partnerships: work with partners to create a comprehensive database of wildcat data for the SF Bay Area; Community Outreach: using a combination of social media, guerilla marketing, community presentations and K-12 school programs pilot 5 new stewards to the Bay Area Puma Project to staff and support the conservation of the Bay Area's urban-wildland edge and its rich biodiversity; Scale: once the model is established we will bring it to other areas where urban hubs permeate areas of rich biodiversity and where large carnivores are still present.
We have built a new cloud database to input our data form 140 remote sensing cameras deployed throughout the Bay Area. The new Cloud DB is called Wilde Pod and will be an open source database, for the public share data and view data. The system uses AI and machine learning to clean data and to conduct species ID.

We have on staff a full time Wildlife ecologist (PhD) who serves as principal investigator for the Bay Area Puma Project (BAPP); we also have a full time field biologist (MS) on the BAPP; a part-time administrator manages our office and volunteers. We have a second field biologist (MS) working on the strategy and an Executive Director (MBA - seasoned NGO manager) working on strategy, development and general management. Finally we have a consulting wildlife biology scientist and professor who works with us on strategy and research design and manuscripts for papers we publish. We have professional volunteers who support the team with finance, outreach, design, technology development, game development (Puma Wild - available in iOS). And our Board of Directors are actively engaged in all aspects of our work.

To date we have collected more than 5 million images of wildlife in the San Francisco Bay area; collection is ongoing with more than 140 cameras placed across our current five-county study area. We have worked with more than 600 volunteers working an average of 2 to 4 hours a month who continue to steward our wildlands. We have published 3 papers on puma occupancy, road hazards, and body condition in the Bay Area. We have reached more than 300,000 Bay Area residents through our outreach efforts - and more than 40,000 children have participated in our CAT Aware education program - a three-day series that includes a one-day field trip into "lion country" with one of our biologists. We have a small social media following (6,000 Facebook followers) and will be launching a series of campaigns to use digital media to recruit more volunteers and distribute our education materials to more classrooms through teachers. Our CAT Aware program is currently being revised for online access! And we have prevented numerous puma deaths by working with local communities and law enforcement to avoid depredation of those few bothersome puma. So we've had some great successes!

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve broad demographics for our work and need to relate to varying value systems.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We increased our community engagement programs based on feedback.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

FELIDAE CONSERVATION FUND
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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FELIDAE CONSERVATION FUND

Board of directors
as of 03/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Land

Michael Land

Magic Leap

Zara McDonald

Founder/Researcher

John Tompkins

Tompkins travel

Conor McGrath

MIT

Michelle Friend

Philanthropist/Artist

Jahan Alamzad

Consultant

Kevin Clark, PhD

Consultant

Sharon Osberg

Retired Wells Fargo

Cat Principe

No affiliation

Jay Ruffin

The Hackett Group

Imran Khan

Senator/Consultant

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/23/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.