Caught on camera: Majestic elk, playful fawns, slinky pumas

Wildlife cameras show animals thriving in Lost Coast Redwoods habitat

A young fawn springs after a mother deer in a bright green field
A young black-tailed deer frolics after its mother at Lost Coast Redwoods.

Something wonderful happens when a redwood forest is protected. Just ask the black bears, coyotes, and mountain lions padding past the League’s wildlife cameras at Lost Coast Redwoods. These creatures can be seen loping down former logging roads or nosing through the underbrush, undisturbed by lumber trucks or construction crews. Free of the threat of clear cutting or development, this magnificent stretch of Mendocino coastline exists as a wonderland for wildlife.

Things weren’t always so idyllic. Lost Coast Redwoods was under commercial timber management when Save the Redwoods League stepped in to acquire it in 2021. Along with safeguarding 2,250 acres of coast redwood forest, the acquisition allowed us to connect crucial habitat. The League’s Shady Dell property lies directly to the north, adjoining Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Like interlocking puzzle pieces, these protected lands now create one contiguous habitat that’s ideal for large species that need room to roam.

Photos from League wildlife cams show how American black bears, Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, mountain lions, coyotes, small mammals, and all sorts of bird species are thriving in this coastal haven. Check out the on-camera cameos below, or learn more about our work at Lost Coast Redwoods.

A black bear crosses an overgrown logging road in the forest.
Why did the black bear cross the logging road? Possibly to get to the late-season berries on the other side. Along with berries, these opportunistic omnivores will happily dine on grasses, grubs, honey, nuts, small mammals, fish, and even the sugar-laden sapwood of redwood trees.
A huge Roosevelt elk ambles along a former logging road
A massive Roosevelt elk assumes the right of way as it ambles through the forest. Male elk can top 1,000 pounds, not including their antlers, which they shed each winter and regrow over the summer.
A buck with a large rack of antlers springs through a grassy meadow
Black-tailed deer often graze near the tree line, where they can immediately spring to safety should a mountain lion crash the party.
Two coyotes make their way down a grassy former logging road in the forest
Adaptable coyotes can live everywhere from urban environments to redwood forests. These clever canines typically mate for life and share parenting duties as they raise their pups.
A mountain lions talks across an open grassy field surrounded by forest
Mountain lions, also known called pumas, cougars, or panthers, play an important role in the Lost Coast Redwoods food chain. These agile predators can take down a deer or even a Roosevelt elk, which helps keep ungulate populations in check.
Three Roosevelt graze in grassland on the edge of a forest.
Thanks to their size, Roosevelt elk are sometimes mistaken for moose. As seen here, elk have a lighter-colored patch on their rump, whereas a moose’s caboose is brown. Elk antlers are pointier and slope backwards; a moose’s upright rack resembles two flattened hands with outstretched fingers.
Two small, light brown bear cubs play near a creek.
Black bear cubs appear as two light-brown blurs of curiosity as they explore a creek bed. Cubs usually stay with their mothers until they are about 1.5 years old.

About the author

Kristina Malsberger works to enliven the conversation around conservation as the Writer/Storyteller & Editor at Save the Redwoods League.

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2 Responses to “Caught on camera: Majestic elk, playful fawns, slinky pumas”

  1. Lucy

    Fabulous pictures! Cams up all over! Wonderful idea, so glad you can do that. 😍 to SRL for V Day.

    Reply
  2. Harry Freiberg

    I first “discovered” the area when an former college girl friend went “feral” and moved to southern Humboldt to homestead in the early ’70s. She had a PhD in “geology” (I never did understand what she did…) and 2 kids with a 3rd on the way. Till she died 10 years ago, she, my late wife and I had many an enjoyable/educational stay. She said something like “God, after making the Lost Coast, decided he couldn’t do any better and retired, thus ending the 7th day”…

    Reply

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