The Effects of Urban Development Mountain Lion Ecology, Behavior, and Movement Patterns
Lead Biologists: Seth Riley [Seth_Riley (at) NPS.gov]; Jeff Sikich [Jeff_Sikich (at) NPS.gov]
Lead Agency: National Park Service
Project Duration: 2002-presentCollaborating Agencies: University of California, Davis; Colorado State University; University of California, Los Angeles
Project Overview and Goals: The project involves the capture, radio-collaring/ear-tagging, and sample collection from mountain lions primarily in the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Valley, and Santa Susana Mountains in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Twenty-six mountain lions have been captured since 2002, though presently only 5 individuals of those 26 radio-collared remain alive. Goals of the research initially focused on understanding how the ecology of this wild cat was affected by urban development. Blood and tissue samples collected are processed by collaborating agencies (UCLA, UC Davis, CSU). Since 2002, the project has taken on new goals, but a rough outline of project goals include (to name just a few):
1) How are movement patterns of mountain lions affected by urban development and roads?
2) What constitutes a barrier (ie., freeways?) and what constitutes a corridor (ie., underpasses?) for movement for these wild cats?
3) What is the survival rate for these animals and what are the sources of mortality for them?
4) What are the population estimates for mountain lions in the Simi Valley and Santa Monica Mountains?
5) To what diseases are these mountain lions exposed?
6) Are the mountain lions reproducing?