Northwest Carnivore Monitoring

Developing advanced research methods to save local species



A Future for Northwest Carnivores

Carnivores such as wolverines, Canada lynx, black bears, wolves, cougars, fishers, and martens call the Cascade Mountains home. This range is one of the only places in the contiguous US to support these iconic and, often, rare species.

Climate change and human disturbance are threats to these species, and monitoring their populations is important for effective conservation.



Woodland Park Zoo has been developing and employing methods to monitor carnivores in remote and rugged locales. These methods enable us to track their recovery in local ecosystems, and their response to human disturbance and climate change.

We have successfully developed and employed noninvasive methods—methods that don’t require capturing wild animals and that, therefore, can eliminate handling and stress—for surveying rare species that inhabit large areas and are difficult to study. This includes a high-tech scent dispenser and camera-trap protocol that is being adopted widely by researchers.


Hope for Northwest Carnivores

Camera trap image of a Coyote in the wild

Project Collaboration

We are developing monitoring frameworks that are effective for multiple species simultaneously, which reduces costs and maximizes resources, allowing agencies and managers to more effectively track and conserve difficult to survey species.

Camera trap image of a black bear in the wild

Developing Better Data

Our monitoring methods complement cutting-edge data analysis techniques—including artificial intelligence and machine learning—which are increasingly providing more detailed and useful information about wild animal populations.



Research in Your Community

The Issaquah Parks Carnivore Project is part of the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project, launched by Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle University to explore how mammalian carnivores, such as coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, and even cougars and bears live and interact with people across urban and suburban areas in the Seattle region. We are working with our staff, volunteers and community partners to deploy camera traps in city and county parks across the Seattle regions.

You can also report and share your carnivore sightings - visit Carnivore Spotter now to report or explore local carnivore sightings throughout the greater Seattle area! We also invite you to help us with our wildlife research! On the Zooniverse platform, you can help us to identify the wildlife we’ve detected on camera traps in urban and wild places across Washington, as part of our Seattle Urban & Issaquah Parks Carnivore Projects and our Washington Wolverine Project.


Carnivore Spotter