Thursday, 23 October 2014

NEWSLINK: California looks to build $4 million mountain lion freeway overpass

Several male mountain lions have been killed trying to get across a log-jammed freeway to breed

By Nick Allen, Los Angeles

5:30PM BST 20 Oct 2014

Conservationists are trying to raise $4 million to build a special freeway overpass for mountain lions in Los Angeles.

A population of the rare and secretive big cats live in the Santa Monica Mountains but are split in two by the city's busy 101 freeway.

There is a shortage of males and that has led to inbreeding on both sides of the road, with several males being killed as they try to make the dangerous crossing to breed.

Only one big cat - known by it's tracking name P12 - is known to have successfully negotiated the ever increasing traffic in recent years.

"He (P12) came from the north and had a lot of genetic material that was new," National Park Service wildlife ecologist Seth Riley told NPR. "Fortunately not only did he survive, but he then became a dominant breeding male.

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