Source: Center for Biological Diversity
Photo credit: National Park Service. Female mountain lion, P-33, in the Santa Monica Mountains
April 17, 2020 (Sacramento) -- In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Mountain Lion Foundation, the California Fish and Game Commission voted 5-0 yesterday to advance Southern California and Central Coast mountain lions to candidacy under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The vote follows a February 2020 finding by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that increased protections may be warranted.
The unanimous vote triggers a year-long review by the department to determine if these populations should be formally protected under the Act. The Act’s protections apply during the candidacy period.
“This is a historic moment for California’s big cats and rich biodiversity,” said Tiffany Yap, a biologist at the Center and primary author of the petition. “These ecosystem engineers face huge threats that could wipe out key populations. But with state protections, we can start reversing course to save our mountain lions. Wildlife officials deserve a big round of applause for moving to protect these amazing animals.”