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2018 Woolsey Wildfire May Still be Impacting Lives Of Bobcats In Santa Monica Mountains

(Photo courtesy NPS/Joanne Moriarty)
Three bobcat kittens found living in the hollow of a tree in the Santa Monica Mountains. Biologists think the mother improvised the location of the den because the traditionally used thick brush hasn't grown back yet from the Woolsey Fire.

Habiata for kitten dens destroyed

Researchers say damage to the Santa Monica Mountains from the Woolsey Fire may be affecting the lives of bobcats in Ventura and Los Angeles County.
Biologists say a bobcat they’ve been following with a GPS tracking collar gave birth to three kittens. But, the mother didn’t set up a den in a traditional area like chaparral, or coastal sage scrub.
When they noticed she kept returning to the same spot, they suspected she had given birth, but they couldn’t find the kittens. Finally, they looked in the cavity of an old oak tree, and saw some eyes starting back.
The mother used the tree cavity as den. They think it was a resourceful move by the mother to find a safe place for her kittens, because much of the ground cover hasn’t grown back since the massive 2018 fire.