On April 16, the California Fish and Game Commission will vote on whether to grant protection to our local population of mountain lions under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). Please email the Commission using the form below, and ask them to protect our mountain lions!
Staff at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) have recommended that mountain lions in the Central Coast region (including the Santa Cruz Mountains) and Southern California be considered for listing as a “threatened” species under CESA. CDFW took this step because mountain lions in these areas are considered to be in an “extinction vortex” as a result of habitat loss due to increased development, and roads and highways creating barriers to migration. Development projects like the Sargent Ranch sand mine proposed on Juristac’s sacred tribal land cut off mountain lions’ movement corridors. This puts these big cats at grave risk of inbreeding as they are unable to disperse over a large enough area to find genetically distinct mates.
If the Commission votes in favor of CDFW’s recommendation, it will trigger a year-long evaluation period before these populations of mountain lions can be formally listed as threatened. However, CESA protections will apply during that review period.
Why This Matters
Mountain lions are not only magnificent animals in their own right, they are a critical apex predator in the state of California. The presence of mountain lions in an area helps to maintain biodiversity, and mountain lion kills provide an important food source for many smaller animals. If we lose mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains, it could have cascading effects on many other plant and animal species, and could result in a significant loss of biodiversity in our region.
What You Can Do
Please email the Commission today using the form below, and ask them to vote to protect our mountain lions before it’s too late!