We are saddened to learn that P-56, a 4-5-year-old mountain lion that was living in the western Santa Monica Mountains, was killed on January 27 under the California State depredation law.
In December 2017, a "three-strike" policy was implemented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). In the Santa Monica and Santa Ana Mountains, lions are isolated due to habitat fragmentation and are at-risk of extinction. The policy, which adds protection for mountain lions in the Santa Ana and Santa Monica ranges, requires property owners in the area to use non-lethal methods of deterrence before a depredation permit can be issued.
Unfortunately, the protection of the "three-strike" policy does not go far enough. Scientific research published in December 2018 and in March 2019 showed the genetic isolation of Southern California's mountain lion populations and predicted that if inbreeding depression occurs, the lions in the Santa Ana Mountains could go extinct within 12 years and those in the Santa Monica Mountains within 15 years.
In a partnership with the Center for Biological Diversity, we are petitioning CDFW to list mountain lions in the Southern and Central Coast areas of California as "threatened" or "endangered" in accordance with the California Endangered Species Act.
This is our best hope for saving mountain lions in the Santa Ana and Santa Monica Mountains!