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Mountain lion P-54 is killed by vehicle four years after her mother died on the same road

mountain lion

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A cougar was hit by a vehicle Friday and killed in the Santa Monica Mountains, not far from where her mother was killed in a 2018 crash, the National Park Service said.

Born in 2017, P-54 was struck on Las Virgenes Road between Piuma Road and Mulholland Highway around 9:30 am and became “the latest grim stat for regional cougars,” the park service said in an Instagram post.

The lion will be taken to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab in San Bernardino for a full necropsy.

She is the 29th mountain lion to have been killed by a vehicle since 2002 in the park service’s cougar study area — which includes the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Hills, Griffith Park, and the Santa Susana and Verdugo Mountains — including 10 lions tied up and followed by park officials.

The mother of the P-54 was killed on the same road in January 2018, and her son was killed two months ago on the 405 Freeway.

Her mother, P-23, was found dead further south from where P-54 was killed, where Las Virgenes Road becomes Malibu Canyon Road.

At the time, P-54 was one year old and “at the beginning of the time when kittens usually leave their mothers,” the park service said. P-23 was 5 1/2 years old when she was killed.

P-97, one of five P-54 offspring born in 2020, was struck and killed on the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center in April.

“He was 18 months old and had recently moved away from his mother, P-54,” the park service said.

In May 2020, P-54 gave birth to a litter of three kittens, which researchers believe did not survive. She gave birth to P-97 and P-98 in October 2020.

P-97 was hit and killed a day before work began on a nature bridge over the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, aimed at encouraging safe crossings for mountain lions and other wildlife genetically isolated by the highway.

The bridge, funded by $87 million in donations, is expected to be completed in 2025.

LA mountain lions are confined to small territories by the region’s roads and highways, which has resulted in the lowest genetic diversity documented for the species, aside from the critically endangered Florida panther.

Because of the resulting inbreeding, car deaths, urban encroachment and other threats, there is a nearly 1 in 4 chance that the cats could become extinct in the mountains of Santa Monica and Santa Ana within 50 years, according to some recent studies.


California breaks ground on largest urban wildlife crossing


2022 Los Angeles Times.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Quote: Mountain lion P-54 is killed by vehicle four years after her mother died on the same road (2022, June 20) recovered June 21, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-mountain-lion-p -vehicleyears.html

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