Puma Profiles: P-19

Mountain Lion looking into camera at night.

Initial capture date: 2012

P-19, captured and collared in early 2012, represents the second case of first-order inbreeding in our study (the first being when P-1 mated with his daughter P-6).

In the summer of 2012, she gave birth to P-23 and P-24. A year and a half later, she gave birth to another litter to P-12, consisting of at least three kittens: P-32, P-33, and P-34. The father was P-12, who also happens to be her own father. P-19 is the longest surviving litter sibling from P-12’s mating with P-13. She, P-18, and P-17 were born in the spring of 2010.

In November 2015, P-19 gave birth to her third litter of kittens, the first litter that was not the result of inbreeding with her father. The father in this case was P-45, and the kittens are P-46 (female) and P-47 (male). This was particularly significant because preliminary DNA analysis shows that P-45 came from north of the 101 Freeway and this litter of kittens represents the first time he has passed on his genetic material to the genetically isolated population in the Santa Monica Mountains. The trio was included in a 2017 New Yorker story called "Lions of Los Angeles."

In July 2018, she gave birth to her fourth litter of kittens, P-70, P-71, P-72 and P-73. The father is suspected to be P-56, her grandson. Although genetic testing is required to confirm P-56’s paternity, the two mountain lions spent time together 90 days prior to the birth of the kitten, which is the gestation period for mountain lions. Females, however, can breed with multiple males during an estrus cycle, a recurring period of sexual receptivity and fertility in many mammals.

On June 19, 2020, biologists found the 10-year-old cat's fifth litter with all female kittens - P-85, P-86 and P-87. Biologists are not sure who the father is yet. Mountain lion mothers typically raise their offspring for about a year and a half, which likely means P-19 did not get much of a reprieve from kitten-raising before she became pregnant with her latest litter.

Following individual animals for their entire lives is one of the benefits of a long-term study like this, and it provides unique and valuable information about the challenges to survival for mountain lions in the area. P-19 bears the disctinction of being the oldest mountain lion mother in the long-term study.

Of the known kittens from her previous three litters, five have died (P-23, P-32, P-33, P-34 and P-47) and two were never outfitted with GPS collars (P-24 and P-46).

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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Last updated: January 20, 2023