SANTA MONICA—The National Park Service announced Monday, November 25 that a new mountain lion, P-77 was discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains.
According to the NPS, P-77 is a female lion about 2 years old and appears to be in good health. Officials are unsure of the lion’s exact birthdate. The lion was discovered in the Simi Hills where officials fixed a radio collar around her neck. She was released back into the same area where she was found.
The GPS collars that all mountain lions have give researchers detailed information about animal ecology and behavior.
P-77 will be a part of a long term study conducted by NPS. According to NPS, “The goal of our research is to understand the ecology, behavior, and conservation needs of mountain lions in this fragmented habitat hemmed in by development, freeways and the Pacific Ocean.”
Researchers have monitored more than 75 mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains.
According to officials, long term survival of mountain lions is threatened by several factors. One being the loss of habitat due to roads and development. Anticoagulants rodenticides, commonly known as rat poison, are another factor threatening the survival of mountain lions. A total of 23 out of 24 mountain lions tested positive for rat poison and 5 have already died as a result of the poison. The number one cause of death is intraspecific strife, where mountain lions kill other mountain lions. Researchers say that intraspecific strife may be exacerbated by the fact that development has caused mountain lions to live in a sort of island surrounded by freeways.
Los Angeles and Mumbai are the only two megacities in the world that have large cats living within city limits.