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State To Look At Adding Protections For Mountain Lions On Central, South Coasts

(NPS Photo)
A mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Mountain lions on the Central and South Coast could be getting new protection.  There’s a proposal to list Southern and Central California mountain lions as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.

Some new research indicates that if nothing is done, the big cats could be extinct in the next half century.  The mountain lion populations in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Ana mountains, and the Los Padres National Forest have become genetically isolated due to highways.  Biologists say it’s led to inbreeding, which could hasten the extinction of the big cats.

The State Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined there’s a scientific basis to justify the endangered listing.  The State Fish and Game Commission is set to consider starting the process to adopt the proposal when it meets April 16th

A designation could lead to new protections for mountain lion habitat and for migration corridors.