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Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » SCV Outdoor Report: Why Did The Mountain Lion Cross The Road?

SCV Outdoor Report: Why Did The Mountain Lion Cross The Road?

“Why did the Mountain Lion cross the road?

“To get to the other side?”

“Nope”

“Then why?

“She didn’t make it across the road….”

A.  “Oh…”

Sometime last Monday night or early Tuesday morning, a female mountain lion was hit by a car and killed.  The accident occurred on the I-5, just south of Calgrove Boulevard.  MRCA Ranger Ken Nelson thinks she was traveling from west to east, because she was found on the southbound side.

wendy_mountainliodeceased.png

This mountain lion was struck and killed earlier this week along the I-5.  Photo courtesy MRCA Ranger Ken Nelson.

Why was she there at that time of night?  Because Mountain lions are most active between dusk and dawn.

What was she looking for?  She could have been in search of deer, her preferred food source.  Ranger Nelson says he spotted a deer carcass in Elsmere Canyon about a week ago that could be have been her cache.  According to a National Park Service website,

“One lion can consume up to 20 or 30 pounds of meat

in a single meal. After feeding on its kill, the lion will

cache the prey, or bury it in a secluded spot. The Mountain

Lion will return to feed on the prey for up to 10 days.”

Why that particular spot?  Mountain lions have large territories – up to 125 square miles – and can travel 20 miles in a day. 

The area south of Calgrove Boulevard is part of the wildlife corridor connecting the Santa Susana Mountains with the San Gabriel Mountains through the triangular-shaped “Newhall Wedge”, which lies between the I-5 and the 14.  There are only two “safe” passages for mountain lions across the I-5 barrier:  one is an underpass and one is an overpass.

wendy_wildlifecorridor.png
The one of the two wildlife crossings between the Santa Susana Mountains and the Newhall Wedge.

She may have traveled safely through that wildlife corridor many time.   Until last Monday night….

That’s one of the reasons why the City of Santa Clarita established an Open Space Preservation District in 2007.  The OSPD work program provides a checklist for evaluating land, which includes “wildlife migration corridor”. 

We want to make sure that these corridors and the core habitat they connect remain available to all the residents of the Santa Clarita valley, including those who move about at night on four padded feet.


For more information about Mountain Lions:

Southern California Mountain Lion Study Calls for Regional Approach to Land-Use Planning:

Staying safe in Mountain Lion Country

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/docs/lionbrochure.pdf

To hear a Mountain lion yowl, go to:

http://www.uwsp.edu/wildlife/carnivore/Mountain%20Lion%20Natural%20History_files/cougar.wav

To hear it purr, go to:

http://www.uwsp.edu/wildlife/carnivore/Mountain%20Lion%20Natural%20History_files/Cougar%20Pur.wav


Upcoming Outdoor Events: 

Saturday, May 23rd, and every Wednesday, 8:00 AM.  Trail Maintenance Volunteers at Towsley Canyon.

Come join our trail maintenance volunteers for camaraderie and a heart-thumping workout.  For more information contact Steve Ioerger at 661-291-1565.


You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on “The Hike Report”, brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to www.LAMountains.com.

SCV Outdoor Report: Why Did The Mountain Lion Cross The Road?

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