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Why L.A. is So Perfect for the Mountain Lion Population

CBS News

Mountain lions living in Los Angeles? You better believe it.

You would never guess that Los Angeles would be a perfect spot for mountain lions to live, but it is a place that they actually reside in. In a story published by Phys Org, it is made known that Los Angeles is one of only two megacities in the world where large predatory cats live among people. The other isn’t even in the United States, as the only other place is in Mumbai, India.

In a study taken by UCLA and the National Park Service, it was found based on the use of GPS radio collars that male mountain lions tend to hunt near creeks and rivers, while females made kills a little less than a mile away from human development, on average. It was determined that both sexes probably selected hunting ground based on the availability of mule deer, which is their main prey.

Deer are attracted to areas with water and lush vegetation, which can help explain why female mountain lions hunt closer to human development, where sprinklers, swimming pools and gardens are more abundant.

Los Angeles’s developmental areas offer thick vegetation, and some are found in upland woodlands, which mountain lions love to hunt in.

Based on results of the survey, mountain lions tended to make kills closer to developments than the researches actually expected. The more dense the development within a mountain lion’s home range, the less likely that the animal was to hunt near residential areas.

Even though it is still surprising how close mountain lions hunt near developments within Los Angeles, it was found that of the 420 kills tracked in the survey, only two were actually recorded inside a developed area.

The fact that mountain lions hunt so near to Los Angeles’s suburbs shows changing geography. Can you imagine mountain lion crossing signs driving down the interstate in downtown L.A. in the next 10 years? That would be quite the sight, not to mention a little bit wild.

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NEXT: DEER NUMBERS ON THE RISE IN NORTHEASTERN MONTANA

Why L.A. is So Perfect for the Mountain Lion Population