BUILDING THE LARGEST WILDLIFE CROSSING IN THE WORLD
THE YOUNG COUGAR NAMED P-32 WANDERED HUNDREDS OF MILES TO FIND A NEW HOME…
Sadly, like many of the area mountain lions, his journey ended in a tragic death on a busy freeway.
Two decades of study by the National Park Service in the Los Angeles area has shown roads and development are not only proving deadly for animals trying to cross, but have also created islands of habitat that can genetically isolate all wildlife—from bobcats to birds to lizards. The species most immediately at risk, the mountain lion, could vanish from the area in less than 50 years. Of all the area roads, multiple research and planning efforts have identified the 101 Freeway as the most significant barrier to the ecological health of the region, and a possible extinction vortex.
The preservation of this key wildlife linkage—the last 1,600 feet of adjacent protected space north and south of the freeway—also spans over thirty years of protecting vital habitat by groups like the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been dedicated to acquiring and preserving open space in the Santa Monica Mountains over almost half a century and the wildlife crossing provides a critical last step in this historic effort.
“The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and MRCA is excited to enter this last critical phase in making a safe passage for wildlife across the 101 and delivering on our 30 plus years of work to preserve habitat linkages,” Rorie Skei, Chief Deputy Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
THE FINAL PHASE IN DECADES OF WILDLIFE CORRIDOR PRESERVATION…IS JUST A FEW YEARS AWAY
The wildlife crossing at Liberty Canyon is no longer just a visionary idea, but quickly advancing toward completion. Building on the significant historic efforts, we are just a few years out from reconnecting this vital habitat corridor for mountain lions and other local wildlife populations. If we stay on track with our fundraising efforts, the crossing will break ground in 2021, and be completed by the end of 2023.
Through the efforts of the #SaveLACougars campaign and our partners, we have advanced this project by:
• Acquiring and Protecting the Land
• Galvanizing Community Support and Approval
• Educating Youth and Adults on Wildlife Coexistence
• Conducting Pioneering Wildlife Research
• Completing the Environmental Permitting
• Launching a Multi-Year Fundraising Campaign
• Convening Design Workshop with Crossing Experts
“As the state senator who represents the Santa Monica Mountains, including the site of this proposed crossing, I know first-hand how critical this project is to the vitality of the animal communities that live in the mountains.” California State Senator Henry Stern
THE WILDLIFE CROSSING
“Twenty years of research shows that the biggest conservation challenge facing the wildlife of the Santa Monica Mountains is isolation by roads and development. This forward-looking project will help to end the isolation and reconnect natural habitat on both sides of the highway.” David Szymanski, Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
THE WILDLIFE CROSSING
“Twenty years of research shows that the biggest conservation challenge facing the wildlife of the Santa Monica Mountains is isolation by roads and development. This forward-looking project will help to end the isolation and reconnect natural habitat on both sides of the highway.”
Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains
National Recreation Area.”
A QUOTE FROM BETH PRATT
“P-22’S JOURNEY ACROSS TWO OF THE BUSIEST FREEWAYS IN AMERICA AND HIS ABILITY TO SURVIVE IN THE SECOND MOST POPULATED CITY IN THE COUNTRY HAS INSPIRED PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD. HIS STORY ALSO INSPIRED ME TO HELP THIS URBAN POPULATION OF MOUNTAIN LIONS THROUGH MY WORK WITH THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION.”