SCPR | Can Following a Famous Cougar’s Journey Help Save Urban Wildlife?

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SCPR | Can Following a Famous Cougar’s Journey Help Save Urban Wildlife?

SCPR | Can Following a Famous Cougar’s Journey Help Save Urban Wildlife?

Photo Credit: Steve Winter – National Geographic

This week, the most prominent local mammal wearing a radio tracking collar isn’t P-22, Southern California’s most famous mountain lion, it’s Beth Pratt-Bergstrom.

The California director of the National Wildlife Federation is participating in a three-and-a-half day, 50-mile hike that follows the cougar’s journey from the Santa Monica Mountains to Griffith Park.

The trek, which started Wednesday and ends Saturday morning, is part of Urban Wildlife Week. The event aims to call attention to animals that live in our urban ecosystem.

“These species need good quality habitat,” David Mizejewski, naturalist at the National Wildlife Fund, tells KPCC. “Unfortunately, when we develop land we tend to eliminate that habitat, making it really hard for some of these species to continue to exist.”

Freeways are especially problematic, as they can separate animals from their natural environs. P-22 is a perfect example. He lives in Griffith Park, essentially cut off from habitat, mates and food by the 101 and 405 freeways.

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