Meet P-59 and P-60, the two newest mountain lion kittens found in the Santa Monica Mountains. National Park Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists found the male and female siblings earlier this month in the central part of the mountains. These two mountain lions will be added to the continuous study of the species in the park.
The mother of the two is P-53, a two-year-old first time mother. P-12 is the suspected father of p-59 and P-60. P-12 is the only documented mountain lion to cross into the mountains from the north. As he came from outside the Santa Monica Mountains he brought new genes to the local mountain lions. However, in-breeding has led to a further reduction in the gene pool.
“If P-12 is in fact these kittens’ father, that also means he’s their grandfather, their great grandfather, and their great-great grandfather,” explained Jeff Sikich, a biologist with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service. “Inbreeding to this degree really highlights the need for providing safe passage across the 101 freeway so new mountain lions can enter the population and breed.”
Caltrans is currently developing a proposal to build the crossing in Liberty Canyon in Agoura hills, an ideal spot for wildlife. Santa Monica Mountains Fund and National Wildlife Federation are teaming up with SaveLACougars.com for fundraising efforts.
One of the SAMO Fund’s main goals is protecting the mountain lions. If you want to donate to help fund the building of the wildlife crossing, click here!