Learn about peninsula’s big cats at ‘Puma Catwalk’

Join Puma scientist Dr. Mark Elbroch of Panthera, local members of the Olympic Cougar Project and human movement biomechanic Katy Bowman, to learn more about local big cats – and why both humans and big cats need large natural areas for their wellbeing – at Puma Catwalk, a free event taking place on Saturday, November 6th from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Robin Hill County Park, 323 Pinell Road.

This family-friendly outdoor event is open to hikers to take part in the “Puma Catwalk,” a two-mile walk where movers follow signs that include exercise and tracker challenges, fun facts, and photos of our big cat neighbors in the Olympics . Peninsula. It is kept rain or shine.

Bowman will be making copies of her latest book, Grow Wild: The Whole Child, Whole Family, Nature-Rich Guide to Moving More available for purchase and signature. Elbroch will also have copies of his Field Guides and the latest book, The Cougar Conundrum: Sharing the World with a Successive Predator, available for purchase and signing.

Panthera is exclusively dedicated to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems. “Panthera is the only cat-specific conservation organization in the world,” said Elbroch.

The Sequim “Puma Catwalk” is a live and local community version of their international virtual catwalk that takes place on the same day. The aim of Catwalk, according to the organizers, is “to activate fitness and learning while creating a community that is not only informed, but also invested and whose commitment to cat protection is continuously continued.”

Elbroch is an ecologist, author, and storyteller with a dual interest in animal tracking and mountain lions. He is a scientist for Panthera studying mountain lion ecology. He’s also an animal tracker working to preserve ancient skills and improve their uses in a modern world (visit markelbroch.com for more on Elbroch).

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with Nutritious Movement and attend a community event to share about our exciting work with local cougars,” he said.

Bowman is the author of several books on the importance of exercise, not just for our own bodies, but also for our communities and our environment. (Learn more about her at nutritiousmovement.com; her storefront is at 202 N. Sequim Ave.)

The Olympic Cougar Project is jointly managed by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Panthera in collaboration with the Skokomish, Makah, Quinault, Jamestown S’Klallam, the Point-No-Point Treaty Council, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes and the Washington Department of the Transport.

“The main goal of the Olympic Cougar Project is to understand cougar genetics on the peninsula,” said Kim Sager-Fradkin, the Wildlife Program Manager for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. She said cougars have less genetic diversity here and that they study their movement patterns, “especially the younger ones after they leave their mothers: how they eat, where they settle, and whether they manage to leave the peninsula,” said she.

Both Elbroch and Sager-Fradkin emphasized that the health of our ecosystem is linked to the health of the puma population.

“Pumas ecosystems are healthier, stronger and more alive, and since people also depend on healthy ecosystems, it simply means that puma are helping to maintain healthier human communities,” Elbroch said.

Sager-Fradkin said that using pumas as a capstone or umbrella species helps researchers study other species and that when they kill moose or deer, they provide food for other species such as insects, ravens, crows, bald and golden eagles deliver. “Pumas help feed the forest; They don’t eat everything in one sitting and when they leave, all these others come in – spotted skunks, bobcats, coyotes, and bears – lots of insects and other animals come to eat.

“At least 9 or 10 people involved in the project will be (on the Puma Catwalk),” said Sager-Fradkin.

“This local event was spawned from two other events,” Bowman said. “Panthera started their very first catwalk – an international virtual walking event to raise awareness about the protection of big cats, also on November 7th, and I had just taken a book walk … with people walking past installed signs that they read or read can see for the photos – for the publication of my latest book ‘Grow Wild’, a book about the importance of connecting human bodies, especially children’s bodies, with natural movements in green spaces. “

Bowman said she and Elbroch are both nature-loving parishioners with young children who they often take into the woods.

“So we often run (or hike?) In the same circles,” said Bowman. “We discussed how we could bring this event to life and how we could create a community version of the larger initiative that connected the part of human movement to the big cat’s need for movement and space, and the ‘Team Puma Catwalk’ was born.

“We held an outside meeting at Robin Hill Park to work through some of the details. Mark noticed that cougars walk through this park on occasion and we found it a good fit to learn about our own local big cats on their own lawn. The walk consists of around 80 signs with stunning photos of pumas doing all sorts of things, facts about cats, and exercise experiences that the whole family can have fun trying. “

Tickets are free, but registration is required; For more information, visit tinyurl.com/CatwalkSequim. Participants are encouraged to bring a mask in case they are closer than 6 feet with anyone outside their group / family.

More information is available at catmosphere.org.

Young people are interested in Katy Bowman’s book “Grow Wild” and connected to nature. Photo courtesy Katy Bowman

Participants in a book walk along the Finnriver look at the signs that are posted over a mile-long walk. Photo courtesy Katy Bowman

Participants in a book walk on the Finnriver look at the signs that are posted over a mile-long walk. Photo courtesy Katy Bowman

Participants in a book walk on the Finnriver look at the signs that are posted over a mile-long walk. Photo courtesy Katy Bowman

Participants in a book walk on the Finnriver look at the signs that are posted over a mile-long walk. Photo courtesy Katy Bowman

Participants in a book walk along the Finnriver look at the signs that are posted over a mile-long walk. Photo courtesy Katy Bowman