SANTA MONICA—Two young adult male mountain lions were recently captured by rangers in Santa Monica. The mountain lions, known as P-55 and P-56, will be tracked by researchers as part of their study on the species’ ability to survive among urban stressors, park officials announced Monday, April 24.
“Introducing the two newest mountain lions to our study: P-55 and P-56. Both subadult males were caught in the same spot in the western Santa Monica Mountains earlier this month. We suspect they’re siblings, but DNA analysis will sort that out. Meanwhile, here’s a great video of P-56. He and P-55 will face the same threats as previous younger males in the mountains: a habitat fragmented by freeways and development (along with rat poison moving up the food chain) and the dominant male lions who already have staked a claim to the area,” stated National Park Service spokesman, Ranger Zach on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Facebook page.
They will join about 13 other mountain lions known to survive in the ecologically isolated area between the 101 and 405 freeways, reported KTLA news.
The mountain lions’ exact ages are unknown, but it is suspected they are less than 2 years old.
Wildlife ecologists have identified a total of 56 mountain lions in Santa Monica since 2002. There is a risk of extinction in the next 50 years for the mountain lions if they continue to live next to the freeway.
In December, three mountain lions were killed attempting to cross the 118 freeway, according to KTLA.