LATO Wildlife Camera Project

Who lives in San Luis Obispo County’s oak woodlands?

The Wildlife Camera Projects aims to provide a window on the mammals that find homes in local oak woodlands. Though we sometimes see birds, even bald eagles, most of the images are of mammals going about their lives, often at night, in search of food, water, a mate or a place to shelter. The project began in 2011 as a Cal Poly Senior Project for Christina McAdams, 2012 B.S. Environmental Management and Protection. Christina worked with Cal Poly Biological Sciences Professor John Perrine, PhD, to develop a project designed to:


  1. Stimulate interest in local wildlife biology and habitat conservation studies by providing students at Santa Margarita Elementary School with images of mammals active in their Santa Margarita Ranch LATO Trail area.
  2. Enable students and their families to see how scientists use wildlife cameras as an investigative tool.
  3. Give elementary students the opportunity to work with and learn from university field biology students managing and interpreting data produced by the wildlife cameras.

Do you see the predator hiding in the shrubs? 

How the Wildlife Camera Project works

Since its start at the Santa Margarita LATO campus, the Wildlife Camera Project has grown to include two more LATO public school ~ field study sites: Ocean View Elementary School ~ Pismo Preserve and Vineyard Elementary School ~ Vineyard School Nature Trail. These team volunteers take care of wildlife camera duties:

Santa Margarita Wildlife Camera Team
  • Sue and Greig Cummings
  • Dan and Katrina Sharon
  • Lydia Lawson and Julie Wales
  • Chris Lawson (tech help)
  • Steve and Nancy Willison
  • Eric and Patricia Bromberger
Pismo Preserve Wildlife Camera Team
  • Sue and Greig Cummings
  • Gary and Darlene Felsman
  • Gary and JoAnn Bissell
  • Sally Krenn and Kristin Blecha
  • Rick, Claire and Niels Grether
  • Eric and Patricia Bromberger
Vineyard Wildlife Camera Team
  • Nancy and Tristan Wilcox

We are grateful to the volunteers and to ongoing technical advisor Dr. John Perrine, Cal Poly Biological Sciences Department. Take a tour of the Wildlife Camera Project Photo Gallery!