According to authorities, a radio-collared mountain lion was killed by a vehicle on the Ventura 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills on Wednesday.
P-89, the male mountain lion, was only two years old.
According to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, he was discovered dead along the freeway shoulder between the DeSoto and Winnetka exits early Monday. He was hit around 2 a.m.
«He is the fourth lion in our study to die as a result of road accidents this year. He had separated from his mother, P-65, earlier this year «Officials from the Santa Monica Mountains tweeted on Wednesday.
Without an inflow of genetic variation, researchers believe the Santa Monica Mountains mountain lion population will go extinct within 50 years. Because of motorways that operate as impediments to migration around the region, the lions remain essentially separated.
Conservationists hope that the $85 million Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, which will span the 101 Freeway in Liberty Canyon near Agoura Hills and will be completed in 2025, would alleviate the situation.
It will be the world’s largest crossing of its kind, a 210-foot-long planted passage for wildlife across 10 lanes of roadway and tarmac.
The crossover intends to connect the tiny mountain lion population in the Santa Monica Mountains to the bigger and more genetically varied populations to the north.
However, some animal enthusiasts argue that one crossing is insufficient.
«We will continue to read terrible stories of mountain lion mortality unless we solve this major problem of habitat fragmentation by establishing more wildlife crossings,» said Tiffany Yap, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. The organization is the sponsor of AB 2344, the Safe Roads and Wildlife Protection Act, which is now being debated in the state legislature.
«The death of a young puma who had just separated from his mother should prompt California politicians to take action,» Yap added. «I hope state senators understand the gravity of the problem and enact the Safe Roads and Wildlife Protection Act next month.»