Letter to the editor: A solution for drivers and mountain lions alike

The recent story Local Mountain Lions Show First Reproductive Effects of Inbreeding highlights a study that found mountain lions in the Santa Ana and Santa Monica mountain ranges are on the verge of extinction unless they can navigate California’s dense road network, the separates them from a wider pool of buddies. Data from GPS tracking collars shows that mountain lions rarely attempt this journey, and of those that do, many do not survive.

Wildlife crossing structures—such as underpasses, culverts, and overpasses—are a proven, effective solution for mountain lions and many other species to safely cross our freeways, not just in the Southern California mountain ranges but across the state. Although deer crossing structures are gaining traction in California, they are not being implemented on the scale needed to save our mountain lions and other species where roads are bringing them closer to extinction.

We need statewide legislation that sets clear mandates for building and maintaining our transportation infrastructure to allow for the movement of wildlife. Stronger policies of direct support and enhanced collaboration between our state agencies will ensure that California’s incredibly diverse wild areas and wildlife can co-exist with our streets and residents.

Mari Galloway
Sacramento, California

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