Wild Cats in San Francisco’s Backyard

Every year at BioBlitz, National Geographic and the U.S. National Park Service rally to get people young and old to explore the wild spaces around them during a whirlwind 24-hour search to identify every species they can find. In advance of our next event in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, March 28-29, 2014, we’re already exploring stories of the life and lands of northern California. Learn More and Sign Up for BioBlitz 2014!

In this installment, National Geographic Young Explorers Ross Donihue and Marty Schnure, California transplants, share wildlife sitings and adventures while working out of an office in the Marin Headlands–one of the gems of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. To find out more about their work click here

Nearly a year ago we drove across the country from New England to the Bay Area, lured by an offer of prime office space in one of the area’s most scenic yet accessible spots: the Marin Headlands. Working here meant lunchtime walks along crashing surf, sea lion releases on the beach, and the steady sound of fog horns as ships entered San Francisco Bay.

During our time in the Headlands we were continually amazed at how much wildlife there is so close to San Francisco—shore birds flying low over the lagoon, coyotes prowling the foothills, dolphins riding the waves.

One evening as the sun was setting low in the sky, a bobcat, expertly camouflaged in the grasses, wandered right in front of us on our way home from work. We froze, amazed by the wild cat just feet away. We spent the next half hour watching it sit perfectly still in the high grasses and then pounce on an unsuspecting field mouse. We left the Headlands feeling the glow of yet another amazing wildlife encounter on the doorstep of San Francisco.

Bobcat from Maps for Good on Vimeo.

Changing Planet


Meet the Author
A National Geographic Young Explorer, cartographer, and visual storyteller. Co-founder and designer at Maps for Good.