Press Release Nov 30, 2016

Plans to Kill Iconic Santa Monica Mountain Lion Sets a Dangerous Precedent

Following the recent killing of livestock by the mountain lion known as P-45, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a permit for the animal to be killed within 10 days. NPCA strongly opposes killing P-45, a top predator that plays a critical role in maintaining ecosystem health.

Background: Following the recent killing of livestock by the mountain lion known as P-45, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a permit, as required under current state law, for the animal to be killed within 10 days. Since 2002, the National Park Service has studied more than 50 mountain lions in and around Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The study has helped researchers understand how the animals use the landscape and has helped inform future opportunities to protect their habitat, which is largely fragmented through urban development.

Below is a statement by Dennis Arguelles, Los Angeles Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)

“NPCA strongly opposes killing the mountain lion known as P-45. Mountain lions have roamed the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding landscape for millennia, even as widespread development and dwindling habitat have threatened their long-term survival. As top predators, they also play a critical role in maintaining the overall health of our local ecosystem.

“As pointed out by the National Park Service, which has conducted ground-breaking research on the local mountain lion population, P-45’s behavior is not uncommon, in its role as a top predator. Killing the animal for acting on its predatory instincts is not the solution, as it could simply lead to another male cat taking over the territory and a repeat of this same situation in the near future. Killing the animal also takes a step backwards in the effort to maintain only one of two remaining populations in the world that have large cats living within the limits of a megacity.

“NPCA echoes the Park Service on the need for enclosures that adequately protect livestock. We must also examine state law and develop procedures that allow the best science to guide the management of predators in our local parks and open spaces, including a role for such critical partners as the National Park Service.

“To kill P-45 is short-sighted and sets a dangerous precedent for how we manage our local parks and wildlife. We urge all parties involved to come together to develop science-based, effective, long-term solutions.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.