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Climate and Environment

Another Mountain Lion Is Killed On A Southern California Road

A mountain lion walks toward a camera with brush behind it.
A still image from video of P-54 captured in 2018
(Courtesy National Park Service)
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We've lost another local mountain lion.

The National Park Service says the adult female puma — known as P-54 — was struck and killed by a vehicle on Las Virgenes Road in the area of Malibu Creek State Park.

The location is close to where her mom — P-23 — is believed to have suffered the same fate more than four years ago.

A statement on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Instagram account said biologists "were alerted by the Agoura Animal Shelter that a radio-collared mountain lion had been killed" at about 9:30 a.m. Friday.

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P-54 is the 29th mountain lion killed by a vehicle in the Santa Monica mountains and beyond in the last two decades.

She had been tracked with a radio collar since shortly after she was born in January 2017, park officials said. She gave birth to two litters in 2020, although park officials said it appears the first litter of three kittens born in May did not survive.

Earlier this year, one of P-54's cubs born later that year — P-97 — was killed on the 405 freeway. That happened the day before the groundbreaking ceremony for a wildlife crossing over the 101 freeway in Agoura Hills.

The image on the left shows Highway 101 with a smattering of cars on it, cutting through the Santa Monica foothills. The image on the right shows what it will look like with a bridge for animals crossing it, grass and other vegetation connecting both sides.
Highway 101, carved across the the Santa Monica Mountains northern foothills, "has become this impenetrable wall for wildlife," according to Beth Pratt, California regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation. The image on the right illustrates a 200-foot long bridge crossing in the works.
(Nate Rott
NPR; National Wildlife Federation and Living Habitats)

From our coverage of that groundbreaking:

The Liberty Canyon Wildlife Corridor will span the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills. Superhighways like the 101 and 405 slice through the natural environments of Southern California wildlife.

The Center for Biological Diversity is sponsoring the Safe Roads and Wildlife Protection Act, a bill that would prioritize crossings and other infrastructure projects to improve wildlife connectivity.

"It's one thing to sort of put stats up on a board," Beth Pratt, with the National Wildlife Federation told LAist in March when another cougar, P-104 was killed on PCH. "It's another one to see a mangled, dead, magnificent creature laid low by a vehicle. This is suffering on a grand scale, and when a mountain lion and a car meet, the car is gonna win."
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