Tuesday, 2 July 2019

NEWSLINK: Wildlife Groups Seek Endangered Status For California Mountain Lions

Two wildlife advocacy groups have petitioned California to grant endangered species status to the state’s mountain lions to help protect them from encroachments that threaten to drive them to extinction.

“Our mountain lions are dying horrible deaths from car collisions and rat poison, and their populations are at risk from inbreeding,” warned Tiffany Yap, a biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity, which presented the petition with the Mountain Lion Foundation. “Without a clear legal mandate to protect mountain lions from the threats that are killing them and hemming them in on all sides, these iconic wild cats will soon be gone from Southern California.”

The striking apex predators that roam the hills of Southern California are critical to the region’s ecosystem yet are increasingly threatened by development and a crisscross snare of highways. If cars don’t kill the animals, the roadways tend to keep populations isolated, significantly reducing mating opportunities and the big cats’ genetic diversity, which affects their health.

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