On Saturday, we published a story about the California legislature imposing a ban on a rat poison that has been found to kill mountain lions. In other good news for mountain lions in California, park rangers have reported a mountain lion baby boom that has occurred this summer in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills west of Los Angeles.
Five mountain lion mothers are reported to have birthed thirteen kittens between May and August, marking the greatest number of mountain lion dens to have been found within such a short period of time during the 18 years in which the region’s cougar population has been studied by the National Park Service.
The previous record was from 2015 when four dens were found in one year. The kittens are reportedly in good health, according to biologists who visit the dens while the mothers are away to perform health checks on kittens, determine sexes, and apply ear tags.
“This level of reproduction is a great thing to see, especially since half of our mountains burned almost two years ago during the Woolsey fire,” said Jeff Sikich, a wildlife biologist. “It will be interesting to see how these kittens use the landscape in the coming years and navigate the many challenges, both natural and human-caused, they will face as they grow older and disperse.”