Mountain Lion Kittens Found

August 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Two new mountain lion kittens have been found in the Santa Monica Mountains, and their parentage appears to highlight the continuing problem of inbreeding in a land-locked area starving for genetic diversity, National Park Service officials announced Tuesday.

The kittens, one male and one female, have been dubbed P-59 and P-60, and they are the first litter of 2-year-old P-53.

Although NPS officials are still awaiting DNA confirmation, the kitten’s father is believed to be P-12, the only lion documented to have crossed into the Santa Monica Mountains from the north. He is known to be prolific in terms of mating with females, including his own offspring.

“If P-12 is in fact these kittens’ father, that also means he’s their grandfather, their great-grandfather and their great-great-grandfather,” said Jeff Sikich, a biologist with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “Inbreeding to this degree really highlights the need for providing safe passage across the 101 Freeway so new mountain lions can enter the population and breed.”

Planning and fundraising are continuing for a proposed wildlife crossing over the freeway in the Agoura Hills area.

A study released last year concluded that without an increase in genetic diversity, the mountain lions in the Santa Monica range are facing possible extinction within 50 years.

Millions Hitting the Road this Weekend

May 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

With gas prices dropping and personal income rising, nearly 2.9 million Southern California residents are expected to travel over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the largest number in more than a decade, according to Automobile Club of Southern California estimates released Monday.

Statewide, the number of people traveling is expected to be about 4.67 million, according to the Auto Club. The figures are the largest since the record-setting year of 2005, when 3.2 million Southland residents and 5.18 million people statewide traveled for the holiday.

“The centennial of the National Park Service, new theme park attractions, cheaper gas prices and rising personal income are some of the reasons motivating an increase in travel this holiday,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel. “Also, some domestic airfares for the weekend are less expensive than in 2015, fueling an increase in air travel.”

Of the Southern California residents traveling, 2.45 million are expected to go by car, a 2.7 percent increase from last year. About 264,000 residents are expected to travel by plane, up 2.4 percent from 2015. About 176,000 will travel by recreational vehicle, cruise, bus or train.

Nationally, 38 million travelers are expected to travel, a 1.9 percent jump from last year’s 37.3 million. The bulk of travelers — nearly 34 million — will go by car, while 2.58 million will go by plane.

Auto Club officials noted that gas prices are expected to be about $1.10 lower than they were during last year’s holiday.

The top destinations for Southern California travelers are expected to be: Grand Canyon National Park; San Diego; San Francisco; Las Vegas; and Yosemite National Park.

But just because more people will be traveling, don’t expect L.A. streets to be empty. Los Angeles is ranked sixth on the list of destinations for travelers across the country.

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