National Park Service researchers discover two litters of mountain lion kittens in eastern Santa Susana Mountains
Recently, two litters of mountain lion kittens have been found by National Park Service researchers in the eastern Santa Susana Mountains. As a whole, five cubs, including three females and two males, were ear-tagged and have been sent to their respective dens previously this month.
The Santa Susanas is a huge mountain range, providing a vital habitat link between the Santa Monica Mountains to the south and Los Padres National Forest to the north.
Jeff Sikich, a biologist with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, said that in spite of the problems mountain lions have been facing in the area, the animals being studied by them were apparently reproducing successfully.
Sikich added, “The real challenge comes as these kittens grow older and disperse, especially the males, and have to deal with threats from other mountain lions and also road mortality and the possibility of poisoning from anticoagulant rodenticide”.
Tagged on June 8, the first litter of cubs included two females dubbed P-48 and P-49. P-35 is their mother, almost 6-year old female whom the National Park Service has been tracking since April 2014.
Using remote camera pictures, biologists are doubtful that her last kitten, P-44, lost life prior to reaching into adulthood.
The second litter of kittens is of approximately 5-year-old female P-39, whom researchers started tracking last April. She delivered three cubs, a male called P-50, a female dubbed P-51 and another male, P-52. Found on June 22, the den was located in a cave-like area hidden underneath.
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