Electronic walk-thru trap saves team from ‘harey’ pre-dawn encounter

Electronic walk-thru trap saves team from ‘harey’ pre-dawn encounter

Mountain lion collaring activities are in high gear this fall, with any given week finding the team staking out a potential study subject in the Sonoma Valley, in the hills of Healdsburg or further north near Hopland. One of the most beneficial pieces of equipment in use is our cage trap that employs electronic sensors to trigger the trap when an animal the height of a mountain lion walks through.

Designed by lead researcher Quinton Martins and Keysight marketing director Neil Martin, the cage has seen several beneficial modifications over the past couple of years, including the use of netting rather than metal in the doors to reduce risk of injury to the lions.

In the photos above, the jackrabbit freely walks through the trap at about 4:00am, allowing researchers to catch up on some z’s rather than hike in to release the hare. The next night, however, the trap performed as designed and, BINGO!, say Hello to P11, a young female lion living the vicinity of Trione-Annadel State Park area. We will learn much from her in coming months.

We are grateful to the determined group of metalsmiths, engineers and tinkerers who came together around this innovative trap design. Learn more about how the electronic walk-thru trap works, read “Walk-through-new-era.”