The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recently released pictures of a mountain lion, tagged in the Santa Monica Mountains. The new resident is a young female, one of the very few big cats in an ever decreasing population facing extinction. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Mountain Lion Foundation have petitioned the State to allow six genetically varied cougar clans to be declared endangered and hence, protect them.
The goal of this petition is to implore the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to list the mountain lions as threatened species, according to Korinna Domingo who works with the Mountain Lion Foundation. If approved, this petition will require Caltrans to construct animal corridors in the habitat of the mountain lions when highways are expanded. This move could potentially take a toll on the development of residential and commercial properties which are to be prohibited in certain locations.
Opponents of the move say that this protection of the mountain lions will be at the expense of species which require more help. The Mountain Lion Foundation has co-sponsored the petition and say that due to in-breeding, urban development, rat poison and road kill, mountain lions are quickly reaching extinction.
Recent research shows that mountain lions in Santa Ana, owing to the genetic depression, will reach extinction in 12 years. Santa Monica Mountains extends this by 3 years.
New photos of the most famous mountain lion in SoCal, P22, who lives in Griffith Park show the animal looking happy and healthy. Claire Berger of Echo Park spoke that she is in support of this conservation of wildlife and animals, and bettering of the lifestyle of the animals. A preliminary decision is awaited from the Fish and Wildlife commission towards the end of 2019.