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Urban Jungle: Protecting and Studying Mountain Lions and Southern California’s Diverse Ecology

July 20, 2023

A mountain lion stands in front of a camera near a predator deterrent device in the Cleveland National Forest in Orange County. Photo courtesy of UC Davis Wildlife Health Center.

The device Aaron Nanas built was broadcasting the cry of a distressed baby rabbit, which sounds a lot like a cranky human baby.

As a computer engineering student at CSUN, Nanas had originally designed and built this device to scare away mountain lions, the charismatic predators that can be devastating to livestock. But on this late August evening, his invention was perched on a post inside a perimeter, in a wooded area of the Santa Ana Mountains foothills, on a trial run to do the complete opposite: Could it attract the big cats?

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