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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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Friday, April 7, 2017

If Los Angeles residents(Angelenos) can live with and enjoy Pumas in their midst, so can folks in every city large and small across the USA...............If we can muster up the will and $$ to provide the habitat(and create the culverts across highways), "Wild America" will again be part of all of our lives, making us more in tune with the world around us---making us more "human" in the process..............., Note that L.A. lions try really hard to stay out of the paths of the millions of humans occupying their historical territory.................. "Currently the dozen or so L.A. Pumas are healthy(and reproducing as the newest kitten, named P-54 attests to) with stable population growth and healthy rates of survival and reproduction"......................... "However, they are isolated from natural areas and other populations of "lions" by freeways and development which could ultimately result in inbreeding causing the population to go extinct"(see 63 beautiful pictures of the L.A. Puma population by clicking on the link coded in yellow in the article below)

Meet P-54 — LA’s newest mountain lion kitten

In late February 2017, National Park Service researchers marked a four-week-old mountain lion kitten as P-54. The mother is P-23.
In late February 2017, National Park Service researchers
 marked a four-week-old mountain lion kitten as P-54. 
The mother is P-23. Photo courtesy National Park Service

Mountain lion P-23 recently gave birth to a kitten, named P-54 by wildlife researchers. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

Mountain lion P-23 recently gave
 birth to a kitten, named P-54 by 
wildlife researchers. (Photo
 courtesy National Park Service) 
In his season of new life, one newborn has caught the attention
of state and federal officials — 
a four-week-old mountain lion kitten.
Researchers from the National Park Service, together with 
biologists from the California
of Fish and Wildlife said the female kitten, given the new
 name P-54, is the daughter of
 mountain lion P-23.
The suspected father is P-30, which is a concern to wildlife 
officials, as he is P-23’s half-brother,
 which would make the young kitten a product of inbreeding.

Thanks to their GPS collars, researchers noted both pumas
 traveling together for three
 days. Approximately 90 days later, GPS data indicated
 that P-23 had given birth.

“The good news is that local mountain lions continue to
 reproduce successfully,” said 
Jeff Sikich, biologist for Santa Monica Mountains
 National Recreation Area. 
“Unfortunately, these animals are stuck on an island
 of habitat, with very little
 movement in and out of the Santa Monica Mountains,
 which has led to multiple cases 
of inbreeding.


A team of wildlife researchers, accompanied by a veterinarian, went into the mountains and located P-54 while the mother was away from the den, according to Ranger Kate Kuykendall from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
The kitten, described as healthy by Kuykendall, was sedated while researchers took blood and tissue samples, fitted her with an ear tag and planted a tracking device in her abdomen. The tracking device functions differently from the GPS collars fitted on adult pumas and requires triangulating a signal in the field to locate her.
While it’s possible P-54 wasn’t the only kitten born to P-23, researchers were not able to find any other offspring, despite a lengthy search in the area, Kuykendall said.
“It’s possible that they could have missed one ... or two,” she said, adding that future attempts to surveil the mother and kitten could lead to some surprises.

Historical picture of a Los Angeles Puma feeding on Black Tail deer kill

The kitten’s DNA has been sent to UCLA, where genetic testing will be conducted to confirm that P-30 is the father, Kuykendall said. If he is, it would be the first documentation of him fathering kittens.
This is P-23’s third time birthing kittens, but in two previous cases she lost her young to fellow predators.
One kitten did survived and was documented on video chirping for her mother. Researchers outfitted that kitten, now known as P-53, with a GPS collar in July 2016.
While inbreeding is a concern, Kuykendall said researchers have not documented any physical defects in the area mountain lion population.
The discovery comes a few months after a female mountain lion and two of her three cubs were killed weeks apart from each other while attempting to cross the 118 Freeway near Chatsworth.
“Southern California’s extensive freeway network has been shown to be a major barrier for wildlife and has particularly hemmed in the mountain lion population in the Santa Monica Mountains,” Kuykendall said.

Historical picture of  a Los Angeles mother Puma and kitten feeding on deer kill

The area where the three mountain lions were killed is part of a “critical wildlife connection” to the Los Padres National Forest, which Kuykendall previously called “the promised land for mountain lions” due to the vast, undeveloped terrain.

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