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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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Monday, May 8, 2017

With two new Pumas discovered roaming the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, there now are 15 of the "big cats" known to be living between three of the busiest freeways in the USA--the 101, 118 and 405 roadways, literally bumper to bumper 24 hours a day without any letup of automobile traffic................As a result, 17 mountain lions have been killed on L.A. freeways and roads since researchers began tracking them in 2002............And until the hoped to be built Liberty Canyon/Chesbrough Wildlife overpass intersecting the 101 Freeway in Agoura is built(perhaps 2020 to begin construction if funds secured), these animals in Los Angeles “will continue to have the lowest genetic diversity ever recorded of any mountain lion population besides the Florida panther that went nearly extinct,” Jeff Sikich, a biologist for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, told the Los Angeles Times in January 2016........................I have said it before and will say it again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,SoCal human animals can be "strange" in many ways but I tip my hat for the tolerance that people have for our largest felid carnivore...................If me and my L.A. neighbors can live with Pumas, every city in the USA is capable of demonstrating tolerance and acceptance of "wildlife in our midst".....................Let's get that Overpass built so that Pumas from the North can wander into SoCal,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and Pumas born here can wander out.................Exchanging genes in the process and defying the odds that "the Big Cats" of The City of Angels go extinct within 50 years


Meet Los Angeles’ Newest Mountain Lions

By: Laura Goldman; May 3, 2017

The good news: Two young, healthy male mountain lions, now named P-55 and P-56, have been discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains by the National Park Service. They are believed to be about 2 years old.
The not-so-good news: Based on the misfortune that’s befallen many other mountain lions in the Los Angeles area, the chances that these two will live long, healthy lives aren’t all that great.

P55 and P56 are thought to be brothers(photo: Nat'l Park Service)

P-55 and P-56, who may be brothers, were tagged by researchers after they were discovered in the same area together. Their movements will be tracked so scientists can study their ability to survive in an urban environment. Since cubs born to the mountain lions in the study are tagged, these two males were not previously known to the researchers.
The isolation and danger of crossing freeways have been death sentences for many L.A. mountain lions. Last year, a mother mountain lion was killed as she tried to cross the 101, leaving three orphaned kittens. NPS officials feared the three might not survive long, and sadly, those fears were realized. One of the kittens was killed on the 101 a few weeks later, close to where his mother had tried to cross it. A month later, one of his siblings met the same terrible fate. The third kitten has not been seen or heard from.
Seventeen mountain lions have been killed on L.A. freeways and roads since researchers began tracking them in 2002.
It’s not just the freeways that are threatening the mountain lions’ survival. Because their territory is so limited, inbreeding is a significant threat. These animals in Los Angeles “have the lowest genetic diversity ever recorded of any mountain lion population besides the Florida panther that went nearly extinct,” Jeff Sikich, a biologist for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, told the Los Angeles Times in January 2016.
Researchers say Los Angeles mountain lions are almost 100 percent likely to become extinct in 50 years because of the inbreeding, which can cause health problems and unusual behavior.
Besides inbreeding, another danger for L.A. mountain lions is rat poison. In September 2015, a male mountain lion known as P-34 died as a result of ingesting a rodenticide. He likely died from what’s known as secondary poisoning — by eating a rodent that ate the poison or an animal that had preyed on a poisoned rodent. Although deadly second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides have been banned in California since 2014, for some reason they can still legally be used by pest-control companies.
Yet another challenge for P-55 and P-56 will be dealing with dominant male lions who have already claimed the territory, NPS spokesman Zack Behrens stated on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Facebook page.
Fortunately, there is some very hopeful news for these two and the other mountain lions in Los Angeles. A wildlife corridor across the 101 freeway is in the planning stages. The 165-foot-wide, 200-foot-long bridge would allow the mountain lions to safely expand their territory and help to end inbreeding.
The earliest this bridge could be completed is 2021. The average life span of mountain lions in the wild is 12 years, so here’s hoping P-55, P-56 and many other L.A. mountain lions survive long enough to use it.


Victory! Land Purchased for Future L.A. Wildlife Corridor

Laura Goldman; 11/25/16

There’s really good news for mountain lions, bobcats, deer and other wildlife in the Los Angeles area. A swath of land between two mountain ranges has just been purchased –  and it will never be developed. The 71-acre parcel between the Santa Monica Mountains and Santa Susana Mountains is a crucial corridor for these animals as they migrate north.

P2 in the Simi Hills-North West corner of Greater L.A.(Ntl Park Service photo)

Due to urban sprawl, it’s almost impossible for mountain lions in L.A. to establish new territories. Being confined makes them vulnerable to attacks by older lions. They also have to inbreed, which can cause health problems and strange behavior. Santa Monica Mountain cougars are among the most genetically isolated in the U.S. They could become extinct within 50 years.
“From our roads to rat poisons to potentially increased interactions with other mountains lions, it is very difficult for young animals to make it to adulthood, establish their own home range and reproduce,” said Dr. Seth Riley, wildlife ecologist for the National Park Service, after three young mountain lions were found dead in the Santa Monica Mountains within a few weeks in October 2015.
The purchase of the land for a future wildlife corridor was years in the making. In 2012, conservationists started negotiations to buy it as part of the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Corridor project. A private seller has finally sold the land to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) for $7 million after funding was approved by the state Wildlife Conservation Board.
The MRCA is a government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of local open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails and wildlife habitat. It’s a partnership between the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Conejo Recreation and Park District, and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District.
The purchase doubles the size of protected wildlife habitat next to the busy 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills. It is “one of the last significant unprotected properties in the Liberty Canyon inter-mountain range,” according to a Wildlife Conservation Board staff report. “The long term survival of species depends on their ability to move between the Santa Monica Mountains and Los Padres and Angeles National Forests to maintain genetic diversity.”
The land has been named in honor of state senator Fran Pavley, who worked for years to secure the funds to buy it. Her efforts helped prevent it from being developed with homes, hotels and a proposed prison.
“Believe me, everybody’s back at work already,” said Dash Stolarz, the MRCA’s public relations officer, at a Nov. 18 press conference announcing the land acquisition. “And we’ll keep working until we get this bridge built and every single mountain lion has a better chance than he had the day before.”
The next step is to make the journey of these animals much safer by building a wildlife bridge across the freeway. Plans are already in the works for a 165-foot-wide vegetated bridge that will be the first of its kind in California

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