Puma Program Director
Mark Elbroch serves as the Director for Panthera's Puma Program, for which he designs science-based conservation strategies for pumas, also called cougars and mountain lions. Mark earned his doctoral degree in Ecology at the University of California - Davis, where his dissertation research focused on puma ecology in Chilean Patagonia. He has thus far contributed to mountain lion research and conservation in Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Mexico, and Chile. Mark’s research interests are broad, ranging from behavioral and community ecology to conservation management to social tolerance. His work has been covered by the BBC, NatGeo Wild, New York Times, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, Newsweek, The Guardian, and CBS News, among others.
Mark earned a Senior Tracker Certificate in 2005 in Kruger National Park, South Africa, after successfully following lions across varied terrain. He was the 17th person to receive one and the first non-African. He is the Initial Evaluator for CyberTracker Tracker Evaluations in North America, where they have been used to test observer reliability in wildlife research and as an educational tool by nonprofit organizations. He received a 2011 Robert and Patricia Switzer Fellowship for his past and potential environmental leadership, and in 2015, he received an honorary Master Tracker Certificate from CyberTracker Conservation for significant contributions to the conservation of tracking knowledge and the trackers themselves. In 2017, Mark was the recipient of the prestigious Craighead Conservation Award, an award honoring individuals whose work has achieved “lasting conservation outcomes.”
Mark has authored/coauthored 10 books on natural history, including The Cougar Conundrum: Sharing the World with a Successful Predator.