P-19: The Selfie Cat
Female | Born May 2010 | Alive
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.
NPS researchers have been following P-19, who is now eight years old, since she was approximately four weeks of age, providing valuable long-term data on the challenges to survival for mountain lions in the area. Of the seven known kittens from her previous three litters, four have died (P-23, P-32, P-33, and P-34), two were never outfitted with GPS collars (P-24 and P-46), and only one is confirmed to be alive (P-47).