Jeff Sikich is a wildlife biologist with the National Park Service researching the impacts of urbanization and habitat fragmentation on mountain lions at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Southern California. Jeff manages the field work for this study, one of the longest running of its kind, which informs mountain lion conservation, as well as outreach, education, and habitat conservation efforts locally and around the world. In addition to his work in California, Jeff has contributed to mountain lion research in Montana, Arizona, Nicaragua, and Peru.
Jeff was raised in northwest Indiana where his appreciation and passion for the outdoors began early in life during local fishing trips with his grandfather. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Environmental Science and Management. Over the last two decades Jeff has captured and handled over 16 carnivore species for wildlife research. His work specializes in safe capture and immobilization techniques for various large carnivores, and he has advised and trained many professionals around the world on humane capture methods. He has worked on several projects in the United States researching a variety of species, including gray wolves, black bears, lynx, coyotes, bobcats, desert tortoise, and deer, as well as studies focused on tigers in Sumatra, jaguars in Central and South America, and leopards in South Africa. His work has centered on conservation, including habitat connectivity, corridors, toxicants and human-wildlife conflict resolution.
He has contributed to many scientific papers and popular articles on carnivore ecology and conservation, and his work has been featured on numerous television programs and news outlets including PBS Nature, National Geographic, 60 Minutes, the New Yorker, National Public Radio, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. When he’s not in the field tracking wildlife, Jeff can be found surfing and exploring the coast and mountains along Southern and Central California.