By Sam Catanzaro
Another large cat in the Santa Monica mountains has died after being hit by a car, the second bobcat or mountain lion to fall victim to such a fate in September.
“We are sorry to report that B-363, an adult male bobcat who was caught earlier this year and collared in an unburned area of Westlake Village, was hit by a car and killed on Kanan Road recently,” said Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Ranger Ana Beatriz Cholo on September 26.
B-363 was one of seven bobcats caught during last year’s trapping season, which ended in February 2019.
“This handsome kitty’s movement pattern was interesting and somewhat unusual from what our researchers usually observe. For one, he was really into hanging out in suburban spaces. His GPS points showed that he was often found in and around landscaped backyards as opposed to nearby open spaces that had recently burned. He was likely doing normal bobcat things like hunting rabbits,” Cholo said.
According to the National Park Service (NPS), there are a lot of hazards for bobcats who live on the edge of urban spaces. With an increased road network, bobcats face the danger of getting hit by vehicles while trying to move between patches of habitat. As animals spend more time in urban areas, the transmission of diseases from domesticated animals to wild animal populations can also be a problem. Exposure to rodenticide poisons is another challenge to urban wildlife as homeowners try to control rodent populations.
“We have been continuously studying and radio-tracking bobcats in targeted areas since 1996, making it the longest-running bobcat study. Prior to 2002, they had relatively high survival rates in the study area but that has been changing over the past 16 years,” Cholo said.
On September 7, mountain lion P-61 was struck and killed on the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass. The four-year-old cat had crossed the massive 10-lane freeway near the Sepulveda Pass area just a couple of months ago.