We are living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus is spreading throughout the United States and affecting many families and working people. Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by this crisis, and we applaud all of our communities, especially our first responders, for stepping up during these challenging times. We hope you stay healthy and safe.
Our nation might have slowed down but our work on protecting our environment and addressing legislative activity still continues. Agencies and legislators are still working to enact legislation on critical environmental issues and the federal administration is using this time to reduce regulations on many critical issues behind the scenes. PCL is committed to staying on top of these issues to prevent harm to the environment and communities of California. As you will see below, we need your help to protect the iconic mountain lion. We greatly appreciate your help and all that you do to support our work.
Help protect Mountain Lions in Southern California!
On April 16th, the Fish and Game Commission will make a decision on whether mountain lions in the Southern California/Central Coast region should be listed in the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). Studies have shown that without extra protections, this species is set to become extinct within the next 15-50 years! We need everyone’s help to encourage the Fish and Game Commission to make the right decision and protect this keystone species!
Mountain lions face many dangers throughout their lives. Cubs are vulnerable both from inbreeding problems mountain lions face due to their declining and scattered population and starvation if their mother dies. The second is all too common because 100 mountain lions die each year from getting hit by cars when trying to cross between two fragmented habitats. Many mountain lions are also killed by poisons ingested when hunting rodents and other small mammals that have been poisoned with second generation anti-coagulant rodenticides (SGARs). SGARs are highly dangerous chemicals that cause affected animals to die from hemorrhage and recent studies have found that over 90% of mountain lions have some amount of SGARs present in their bloodstream. Many mountain lions are also killed for preying on livestock, which they are often forced to do due to the limited resources available in their habitat. Mountain lions are the only large predator species still left in California and protecting this species will help strengthen the entire California ecology.
Listing these species in the Endangered Species Act will force public agencies to consider the effect on mountain lions when approving any large projects. If a project is found to have an effect on the populations, agencies will be required to come up with alternatives on how to minimize adverse effects. Currently, there are many transportation projects being developed in Southern California but few consider how building them will further fragment mountain lion habitat. By listing the species in CESA, these projects would be forced to also build habitat crossings to ensure that habitat doesn’t become further fragmented. These crossings also have the potential to save human and mountain lion lives by reducing the amount of automobile collisions with wildlife. CESA would also reduce the amount of permits issued each year to hunt mountain lions that have killed livestock. Finally, CESA will require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to create a mountain lion recovery plan whose goal would be to return mountain lions to a healthy and self-sustainable population. Now is the best time to protect this species from reaching the brink of extinction.
How you can help
There are multiple ways you can act to help ensure that mountain lions are listed in CESA.
Send a letter to the Fish and Game Commission
Send a letter of support to the Fish and Game Commission stating why you support listing the mountain lion species in the California Endangered Species Act. Please submit your letter by this Friday, April 10th. Click here to download our letter template and personalize it as much as you want. To submit a letter, please mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call in during the meeting
The meeting on April 16th will be held online but will still allow for public participation. We will be sending out a separate email with more details on how to call in to the meeting.
Sign the Petition
Sign the petition developed by our allies at the Center for Biological Diversity to support the protection of mountain lions. Click here to sign!