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VICTORY: Timely Protection Granted for SoCal Mountain Lions

VICTORY: Timely Protection Granted for SoCal Mountain Lions

On April 16, the California Fish and Game Commission granted temporary endangered species status to Southern California and Central Coast mountain lions, thanks to the voices of mountain lion supporters like you in California. Mountain lions face local extinction due to frequent deaths from auto strikes, rodenticide poisons, poaching, and habitat loss and fragmentation driven by human overpopulation. This landmark unanimous decision came in the nick of time for these very sensitive lion populations!

Endangered species status provides immediate protection to lions while the Commission proceeds with the lengthy process to determine whether or not the status will become permanent. Now ranchers and hobby farmers can't request a depredation permit to kill the protected lions. Instead, they must resort to nonlethal methods like improved fencing and hazing. The temporary endangered species status also limits the use of rodenticide poisons and ensures that going forward wildlife corridors are constructed when building projects intrude into lion habitat.

We're relieved to know that Southern California and Central Coast mountain lions are temporarily safe from deadly depredation permits, which were responsible for nearly 1,800 lion deaths after Proposition 117 was passed to prohibit lion hunting. Tragically, this number is four times higher than the number of lions killed when hunting was legal in the state, according to an investigation by The Sacramento Bee.

There was a groundswell of support to protect these lions after infamous P-56 was killed by depredation permit on January 26, leaving one known breeding male and six adult females in the Santa Monica Mountains to sire future generations. Without new protections, lions in the area could become extinct in 50 years.

Almost 1000 of our California supporters signed our letter urging the Commission to list these lions as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act. We expressed our support for the designation and cited your letters during the tele-hearing. We are so grateful to you for helping us to protect Southern California and Central Coast lions!

To further support our work to help mountain lions and other animals, please consider making a donation. Thanks again!

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