Making Room for Cougars in California's Cities

The big cats are on the rebound in California, but urban development threatens their comeback. Can wildlife crossings under highways ensure their survival?

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To catch a cougar, University of California, Santa Cruz field biologist Paul Houghtaling recommends roadkill. Deer, to be precise, preferably aged for less than a week. Post a motion-activated camera nearby and be patient: Once cougars find the prize, they usually return to feed several nights in a row. On a cool California night in early April, Houghtaling set up his remote camera in the mountains above Santa Cruz at Laurel Curve, a popular spot for cougars and their prey. A few hours later, th...
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