Researchers in Southern California set up camera traps to monitor and track the movement of mountain lions.
Mountain Lion Tracking Researchers in Southern California set up camera traps to monitor and track the movement of mountain lions. © UC Davis Wildlife Health Center

Land & Water Stories

A Path for Mountain Lions

Hear from the scientists working to help save mountain lions in Southern California in the second episode of the Destination Nature podcast.

Destination Nature: A Path for Mountain Lions

Click the green arrow below to hear episode two of Destination Nature.

camera trap photo of a mountain lion in Southern California
California Mountain Lion Researchers at UC Davis Wildlife Health Center use camera traps to track and capture mountain lions. © UC Davis Wildlife Health Center

How far would you venture for a place to call home?

Follow along on a journey from the top of the Santa Ana Mountains to the sprawling urbanized valley below. In this second episode of Destination Nature hear from a research veterinarian, ecologist and urban planner on creating a path for the future of California’s mountain lions.

Learn More About:

·       The threats to mountain lions in Southern California

·       The importance of mountain lions to the ecosystem

·       What TNC is doing to protect this species.

Capture and Release: A Visual Story

Understanding the lives of mountain lions is key to protecting this species. UC Davis Wildlife Health Center and TNC collar and track individual lions to gain insight into how they move across the landscape.

a mountain lion approaches a dead deer next to a large tree
Setting up the bait A mountain lion examines bait, roadkill deer, set out by researchers near a camera trap. © UC Davis Wildlife Health Center

Researchers use camera traps to determine places mountain lions frequent then place roadkill deer in the back of a large trap. When the mountain lion walks into the trap to grab a snack the gate closes behind him.

a mountain lion lays down inside of a large cage
Captured Mountain Lion A mountain lion caught in a trap set up by researchers. © UC Davis Wildlife Health Center

The research team monitors the traps and immediately responds once a mountain lion has been captured. They sedate the mountain lion, take samples of blood, tissue, hair and whiskers then place a tracking collar before letting them go.

researchers in headlamps surround a sedated mountain lion
Mountain Lion Research A team of researchers from UC Davis take samples from a sedated mountain lion. © UC Davis Wildlife Health Center

By keeping the balance of predators, whether it’s mountain lions, coyotes, or smaller predators, we can keep a healthy ecological system …

Ecologist
A female mountain lion with a GPS collar followed by her cub in Southern California
Collared Mountain Lion Researchers can now track the movements of this female mountain lion and cub as they move throughout Southern California. © UC Davis Wildlife Health Center
The path of a mountain lion known as M93 is represented by the green lines. A safe crossing that goes under the eight lanes of Interstate 15 is circled in orange.
Temecula Creek crossing map The path of a mountain lion known as M93 is represented by the green lines. A safe crossing that goes under the eight lanes of Interstate 15 is circled in orange. © TNC
Credits

Special thanks to Dallas Audio Post for editing and sound design, Audio Raiders for sound production, UC Davis for use of sound recording and photos, and Denis Callet for the breeding call sound recording.

 

About Destination Nature

Destination Nature is a new podcast series from The Nature Conservancy that brings conservation stories to your computer.  Three pilot episodes will launch in the summer of 2019.  In each episode we explore a new project, talking with TNC staff and partners about our work in action. 

Email our team to share your thoughts about the Destination Nature podcast or to suggest topics for future episodes at destination.nature@tnc.org.

Destination Nature Podcast

Listen to all three episodes of Destination Nature.

Listen