On Wednesday morning, officials found the body of a mountain lion on Highway 101 in Calabasas. It appeared to be killed while crossing the highway.
“It’s always unfortunate that this happens…” The West Valley branch of the California Highway Patrol tweeted a picture of the cougar.
Female cat Ana Cholo told KTLA that this cat does not have a collar, so it may not be one of the dozens of local cougars that the National Park Service is studying.
Since 2002, when scientists at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area began to study mountain lions in the area, cars have hit at least 21 mountain lions.
She added: “We are surrounded by highways, roads and development, so it does happen regularly, mountain lions are killed and try to cross the road.”
Park service officials plan to pick up the carcass of the mountain lion on Friday and conduct a complete autopsy.
NPS is working with the National Wildlife Federation to raise funds for the flyover, which will allow puma and other animal activities in the Free Canyon area of Agoura Mountain. According to the Park Service, this is one of the last places on Highway 101 to touch the protected habitat on both sides of the road.
The agency said that if funds are raised as expected, the construction of the flyover may begin in 2021.
In April, the state regulator granted the mountain lion in Southern California temporary status as an endangered species. Advocates believe that human development prevents animal activities, which leads to genetic isolation and low survival rates.
The Center for Biological Diversity believes that the cougar will receive permanent status next year.
JP Rose of the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement on Wednesday: “The unnecessary death of this mountain lion highlights the need for wildlife crossing and better land use planning.” “Although state wildlife officials have Under the state’s Endangered Species Act, measures are taken to temporarily protect these cats, but Los Angeles County continues to approve destructive spreading projects that will block the rest of the wildlife corridors. California’s big cats deserve better treatment.”
Earlier this month, scientists from the Park Service first discovered kinked tails on three mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains. This phenomenon is related to the decline of close relatives.
A 2016 study co-authored by biologists at the University of California, Los Angeles predicted that if local residents experience this kind of inbreeding decline, then the cougar will have a 99.7% chance of extinction within 50 years.