• Afternoon clouds cover the distance peaks of the iconic Boney Mountain

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

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  • Water Shut Off, Solstice Canyon 4/15/2014

    4/15/2014: The water will be shut off at Solstice Canyon all day. This will affect the water fountain and hand-washing stations at the restrooms.

Home Range

Consistent with other studies, the home ranges of male mountain lions being followed by the NPS in this study are larger than those of female lions (~400 square kilometers vs. ~100 square kilometers). Most male mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains have used the entire mountain range, from Point Mugu State Park in the west to Topanga State Park to the east, at some point in their life. Young males also utilized areas at the extreme edge of the mountains bordering freeways and urban areas. Park biologists speculate that these young males were attempting to disperse outside the home range of adult males, but were unable to do so because of development and freeways.

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Home ranges for the first eight mountain lions being followed by the NPS.

Based on the sizes of lion home ranges, it is clear that the Santa Monica Mountains are only large enough, by themselves, to support a mountain lion population of 10 or fewer animals. This low number is not sufficient to maintain long-term viability. Genetic analyses indicate that these lions have low genetic diversity, and that they are more closely related to lions in the coast range, including far to the north up to Big Sur, than to lions in the much closer Santa Ana Mountains which are separated from the study area by the Los Angeles Basin. To sustain genetic diversity and to replenish the population when animals die, it is critical that connectivity is established or maintained between the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Hills, Santa Susana Mountains, and ultimately to the Sierra Madre Mountains in the Los Padres National Forest.

Did You Know?

Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feurer were instrumental in the movement to create a national recreation area near Los Angeles.

Four state parks were the triumph of a grassroots movement to protect open spaces minutes from Los Angeles in the 1950s & 60s. Three women, Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feuer further galvanized the movement that helped make Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area a reality in 1978.