February 9, 2024 | By:

Episode 120: Carnivore Conservation in the Pacific Northwest With Paula MacKay and Robert Long

carnivore conservationists Paula MacKay and Dr. Robert Long

Paula MacKay and Dr. Robert Long


Paula MacKay has studied wild carnivores for the past two decades and is currently a carnivore conservation specialist with Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Also dedicated to communications on behalf of her wild kin, Paula earned an MFA in creative writing from Pacific Lutheran University in 2015.

carnivore conservationist Paula MacKay

She was managing editor for Noninvasive Survey Methods for Carnivores (Island Press, 2008), and her work has been published in numerous journals, magazines, books, and anthologies. Paula lives on an island near Seattle with her husband (Robert Long) and more-than-human dogs, in the company of elder trees. Visit her website to read Paula’s writings about rewilding and to subscribe to her blog, Wild Prose.

Dr. Robert Long is a Senior Conservation Scientist at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and director of the zoo’s Living Northwest program.

carnivore conservation scientist Dr. Robert Long

His primary responsibilities include coordinating carnivore research and conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest. Robert has twenty-plus years of experience studying a variety of species, most recently wolverines, lynx, martens, and urban carnivores such as coyotes, and also bears, fishers, bobcats, foxes, deer, snowshoe hares, and owls. He holds degrees from Humboldt State University, the University of Maine, and the University of Vermont. In 2008, he co-edited the book, Noninvasive Survey Methods for Carnivores. He currently lives with his wife (Paula MacKay) and their dogs on Bainbridge Island.


  • Working with carnivores: carnivore conservation & research in the Pacific Northwest
  • Non-invasive methods of studying carnivores like camera traps
  • Animal autonomy
  • How pervasive are camera traps now that anyone can use them?
  • How to ensure communities feel safe with cameras in urban monitoring environments
  • Scat in the freezer and books on poop!
Extra Credit
Books Mentioned:

eat poop die Joe Roman

Crossings - book cover

Ben Goldfarb, Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of our Planet. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2023.

Small World: A Novel

Episode 120 Transcript (PDF)

Spread Rewilding Around the Globe!
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