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Third mountain lion collared in Santa Monica Mountains

August 17, 2009 | 11:14 am

Mountain lion

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area staff is waiting on DNA results to determine whether a recently collared mountain lion is related to another lion in the area.

The DNA testing, which is conducted by scientists at UCLA, is part of a national parks study that monitors the habits of mountain lions and tracks the effects urbanization has on the lions, said Lauren Newman, policy and external affairs manager for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

P-13 was captured, collared and released July 31.

The female cat, which is thought to be one year old, is currently the third mountain lion in the area with a functioning collar. She could be the offspring of P-6, a female lion known to live in the Santa Monica Mountains area, based on remote camera photos.

“It’s probably that they are somehow related,” Newman said. P-1 was the first lion collared in the study, which began in 2002.

The lion may be 12 or 13 years old by now and is thought to still be alive, but does not have a functioning collar after a fight with another lion.

The other two lions with functioning collars are named P-10 and P-12 and are both 2-year-old males. Though the lions live around the Topanga and Malibu creek areas, males are known to roam across the Santa Monica Mountains.

The DNA results will be available in about two weeks, Newman said.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: A previously undocumented member of the Santa Monica Mountains mountain lion community, before receiving an identifying collar. Credit: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area