Santa Monica Mountains home to mountain lion cubs

August 19, 2012 by  

National park service biologists made the recent discovery of a pair of mountain lion cubs in the Santa Monica Mountains near Woodland Hills.

The kittens were tagged by via the tracking devices of researchers while the mother was away hunting. Their den is located near Circle X Ranch, Malibu, where they are believed to have been born in June. The mother is thought to be Puma – a lioness captured and tagged several months ago who seemed to be pregnant at the time.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Ventura and Los Angeles counties is considered to be the largest urban national park in California, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of coastal and mountain regions.

Although the local habitat appears to be good for hunting and reproduction for the cats, National Park officials said it will be difficult for too many cats to survive in such a small area. Dr. Seth Riley, a wildlife expert with the National Park Service, said:

“The fact that successful reproduction is occurring in the mountains indicates that we have high-quality habitat for mountains lions here.”

The discovery of the new kittens brings the total number of lions studied in the mountain habitat up to 24. Biologists are currently tracking seven mountain lions in an effort to better understand how the cats survive in the modern day world.

Although the young lions may look tame, conservationists often use flyer printing to warn neighborhoods of the dangers of feeding wild animals.