P-77 Joins Mountain Lion Family

Two-year-old mountain lion found in Santa Monica Mountains 

By Keldine Hull

A 17- year study of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding region just got a new addition. P-77, a two- year old mountain lion, was discovered in good health in the Simi Hills this month. According to the National Park Service (NPS), she was outfitted with a GPS tracking collar and released where she was found. 

According to a post on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Facebook page, “The goal of our research is to understand the ecology, behavior, and conservation needs of mountain lions in this fragmented habitat hemmed in by development, freeways and the Pacific Ocean.”

P-77 joins a long line of big cats in the study, which includes 76 other mountains lions- the same animal as pumas and cougars. “Each one has their own unique story that has helped our researchers understand how these large carnivores survive in an increasingly fragmented and urbanized environment by evaluating their distribution, movement patterns, behavior, and survivorship,” said the NPS.

The first mountain lion in the study, P-1, was captured in 2002. Known as the king of the mountains, P-1 roamed nearly the entire area of the Santa Monica Mountains and lived beyond the life expectancy of his species. Mountain lions can live up to 13 years in the wild. Los Angeles is one of the only major cities in the world where mountain lions live within city limits.  

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