Trackers say at least 8 mountain lions survived Southern California wildfires

Trackers say at least 8 mountain lions survived Southern California wildfires

Outdoors

Trackers say at least 8 mountain lions survived Southern California wildfires

Southern California’s devastating Woolsey Fire, which has charred more than 96,000 acres and destroyed more than 400 structures in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, appears to have spared at least some of the region’s mountain lions.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area announced Monday via social media that eight of 13 mountain lions being tracked in the area were showing signs of movement.

Image showing mountain lion P35 is courtesy of the National Park Service

“Of the 13 mountain lions with working radio collars in and around the Santa Monica Mountains, we can confirm with GPS locations and movement data that eight of those appear to be alive and moving,” the agency stated on Twitter. “There are 5 other lions that we’re unsure about, either because their GPS collar has not transmitted points yet — not unusual — or because they need to be tracked in person with telemetry, which is not possible due to the fire.”

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The region’s mountain lions, or cougars, have developed a passionate following because of the challenges they face living in wilderness so close to city limits and surrounded by freeways. Several have perished over the years as a result of car strikes, rat poison, and other causes.

Image showing mountain lion P42 is courtesy of the National Park Service

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area also tracks four bobcats, whose fate remains unknown.

“Of the 4 bobcats we’re tracking, it appears the entire home ranges for all 4 have burned,” the agency stated. “We can’t get the movement data [without] going in the field to download, which we can’t do right now. It’s possible they managed o survive but only time will tell.”

As of Tuesday morning, the Woolsey Fire was determined to be 35% contained.

–Images showing mountain lions of the Santa Monica Mountains are courtesy of the National Park Service

 

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