Photo credit: National Park Service
Habitat loss and the lack of connectivity between habitats is a significant problem for wildlife. Barriers such as freeways and urban development can affect animals’ ability to thrive, as they are often stuck in “islands” of habitat with insufficient sources of food and water, or eligible mates. Crossing these barriers, such as when mountain lions seek to expand their territory, can lead to collisions between wildlife and vehicles. Another concern caused by lack of habitat connectivity is lack of genetic diversity, as too often animals mate with their offspring. In time, these challenges may lead to illness or even extinction among some species. Mountain lions face a particularly daunting future if they are not able to expand their territory.
Make a game that helps ensure that animals native to the Los Angeles area have the habitats, and the connections to appropriate habitats, they need to thrive. You can choose to address issues facing mountain lions, or any other animal confronted with habitat loss and habitat connectivity issues in Los Angeles.
The biggest threat to lion persistence in the Santa Monica Mountains is the loss and fragmentation of habitat by roads and urban development.
The Santa Monica Mountains to the Sierra Madre Range is one of the few coastal to inland connections remaining in Southern California.
Mountain lions are an indicator of the health of an ecosystem and their survival is linked to the greater resilience of the entire Santa Monica Mountains.
Mountain lions are a part of California’s natural heritage and having them disappear from the Santa Monica Mountains can be devastating to the entire ecosystem.
Most endangered species are threatened by multiple factors, but habitat loss is generally viewed as the largest single cause of biodiversity loss worldwide.
Timelapse Video: An animated concept of how the wildlife overpass would look as it is being built.