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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

A true Christmas present for the Los Angeles Santa Monica National Park with a newly discovered Puma kitten 6 months old and seemingly healthy.............As many of you now know, penned in by a killing maize of non-stop busy freeways and battling the dire reactions of rat poison that homeowners use to kill rodents, the dozen or so so Cal Pumas really need connective corridors both to move in and out of the region as well as allowing visiting "cats" to deliver new genes to them

Good News for L.A.’s Mountain Lions: Newly Discovered Kitten Is on the Prowl

Researchers thought all the offspring of a female named P-23 had been killed

From being hit by cars to ingesting rat poision, it’s been a rough year for mountain lions living in Santa Monica Mountains National Park in Los Angeles County, California. Just in time for the holidays, a new kitten has been discovered, much to the delight of biologists tracking the big cats. 

The National Park Service shared a video of the young cat on Thursday. All the other kittens born to the mother, called P-23, have met early, grisly ends.
P-23’s first litter of kittens was cannibalized by a male mountain lion in the area, while an unknown predator killed two kittens from her second litter in September. Researchers didn’t realize P-23 had any remaining offspring, but some of the female cougar’s movements indicated that she was still caring for a kitten.

Biologist Jeff Sikich set up a camera near where she left a deer kill to make sure.
Lo and behold, part of that meal went to a previously unrecorded kitten, whose little squawk and movements suggest that he or she is about six months old and from P-23’s second litter. The kitten has yet to be captured and outfitted with a tracking device, so it does not yet have an official name. P-46 is the next number available.

“It was great to see that one survived,” Sikich told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s pretty amazing.”Mountain lions help maintain a balanced ecosystem in the Santa Monica Mountains, feasting on herbivores, and therefore indirectly influence vegetation growth.

But life isn’t easy for mountain lions living in the mixed urban environment. Blocked in by the Pacific Ocean and highways, they’re trapped in a limited range that has resulted in heightened interspecies conflict. Along with the two kittens killed by an unknown predator, another young cat was killed after it ingested rat poison in September. Used in households to kill vermin, the poison works its way up the food chain and can have fatal consequences for the big cats.

“These mountain lions, they have it tough in this urban fragment of landscape, but there’s hope for them in this environment,” Sikich told the Times. “They’re killing and eating their natural prey. They are successfully reproducing and raising young.”

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