Mountain lion population at risk, informational meeting May 10



Winston Vickers with mountain lion kittens.

Mountain lion populations are demising due to barriers from development and highways. Join us to learn more on May 10 at 6 p.m. at Bear Valley Springs Oak Tree Country Club, 29500 N. Lower Valley Rd., Tehachapi. For gate passes contact:

The Tehachapi mountains is considered strategic for mountain lions to diversify their DNA by migrating to cross breed with other groups. The goal of mountain lion research is to simply learn how lions use Tehachapi as part of the larger ecosystem and as the main connector between lion populations in the Sierras, coastal and southern California mountain ranges.

Why are mountain lions important?

Well, as top predators, they are huge contributors to a stable ecosystem. Most native Californians have never seen a mountain lion because they are so elusive, and yet certain populations are at risk.

Specifically, populations in wild lands around Southern California. Highways and development have divided what natural habitat remains for lions, which is causing a chain reaction: migrating lions are getting hit by cars and lions that are stuck are inbreeding. With California mountain lions already genetically divided into 10 sub-populations, mostly by man-made barriers, other sub-groups in the state may also be at risk in the future.

Mountain lions struggle for survival and this research is helping to implement all manner of measures to protect and help them be healthy and survive.

Hear from the experts working to help save mountain lions in Southern California.

Winston Vickers is a wildlife veterinarian with the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center who has conducted research into mountain lions in California for the last 20 years. In that time, he and other researchers in the state, have learned a vast amount about the mountain lion populations in California. The California Mountain Lion Project has focused on habitat use, prey animals, health and disease, and human interaction. By placing GPS collars on the mountain lions, the project is able to track movements and behavior, as well as document habitat use. This information is gathered to identify potential conflict points in shared habitats to help prevent tragedies for humans, pets and wildlife.


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