Some of Southern California’s beloved mountain lions could soon be extinct unless something is done to diversify the population, scientists say.
The population of mountain lions living in the Santa Monica Mountains now faces a 99.7 percent chance of extinction, due to loss of genetic diversity.
According to the National Park Service, which has placed GPS tracking collars on more than 30 mountain lions in order to study their behavior, the mountain lions of the Santa Monica Mountains have relatively low genetic diversity compared to other mountain lions in the rest of the state, largely due to being fenced in by roads. The researchers found that the small population size has led to infighting, inbreeding, and health problems. READ MORE.