Local Extinction of Southern California Mountain Lions Possible Within 50 Years

mountain lion at night
Female mountain lion P-13 near Malibu Creek State Park in March 2014. (National Park Service)

Two isolated mountain lion populations in Southern California’s Santa Ana and Santa Monica Mountains are at risk of local extinction, perhaps as soon as within 50 years, according to a study published in the journal Ecological Applications.

The study showed the extinction risk is due to low genetic diversity and mortality that affects the stability of the population. Mountain lion mortality is often caused by humans, but can also result from changes in the environment, such as wildfire and fluctuations in prey density.

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