Hear our interview: Click this audio link.
By Miriam Raftery
November 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Efforts are underway to declare mountain lions endangered species in portions of Southern California. “Their habitat is being fragmented,” wildlife biologist Renee Owens with Wild Zone Conservation told ECM in an interview on our radio show that originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM in October.
In California, the number one cause of mortality for mountain lions is being struck by vehicles while crossing roadways. In addition, some 200 depradation permits are issued each year in California allowing the killing of mountain lions, usually because they are preying on livestock. “Nationwide, we know that over 3,000 mountain lions a year are reported to have died,” Owens says.
The Mountain Lion Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity have petitioned the state to list mountain lions as protected because some isolated populations are “literally in danger of extinction.” Owens says experts suspect this is also happening in San Diego, where recent numbers show the lions are “actually in decline," according to Owens.
Scroll down for highlights from the interview, or listen to the full interview on the audio link.