The Center for Biological Diversity and the Mountain Lion Foundation is petitioning for the protection of mountain lions in Southern California and the Central Coast.
The organizations formally petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission on June 25 to protect “gravely imperiled cougar populations” under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
The petition recommends listing mountain lions as “threatened” or “endangered” under the CESA for subpopulations in the Santa Ana Mountains, Eastern Peninsular Range, San Gabriel/San Bernardino Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Cruz Mountains and Central Coast Central.
The organizations state that there is “no reliable estimate of mountain lion abundance in California,” although a 1984 study estimated populations to be between 4,000 to 6,000 adults.
The petitions reads that the “California Department of Fish and Wildlife acknowledges that this estimate is outdated and likely overestimates mountain lion abundance” and a large-scale research study is currently in the works to estimate mountain lion numbers.