P-64: The Culvert Cat

Male | Estimated to be 3-4 years old | Dead

In December 2018, biologists discovered the remains of P-64, known as the "Culvert Cat," an approximately four-year-old male mountain lion who survived the Woolsey Fire, but died a few weeks later. His cause of death is not known, but his paws were visibly burned.

When the fire first broke out on the afternoon of November 8, 2018, P-64 was in the Simi Hills, north of Oak Park. He continued to travel throughout the Simi Hills for the next few days, covering several miles before then hunkering down in a remote area. Our biologist located P-64 on November 26 with a telemetry device in an unburned portion of the Simi Hills. This boosted hopes that P-64 may have been on a kill and surviving.

The last GPS point transmitted by the collar was on November 28, but the collars commonly go multiple days without connecting to the satellites and transmitting points. Our biologist hiked in to the location of the last GPS point on December 3 and found P-64’s remains nearby. He appeared to have been dead for a few days.

P-64 was first captured in February 2018 in cooperation with The Boeing Company at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in the Simi Hills and fitted with a GPS collar. The following day, he headed south and
crossed the 101 Freeway using a culvert in the Liberty Canyon area. He stayed for a few days and then headed back north again and went on to cross Highway 118 twice. He crossed the 101 south again, which marked five freeway crossings in 14 days of GPS monitoring!

Although DNA testing is still needed for verification, he is the suspected father of four female kittens born in May of 2018. During his short life, the "Culvert Cat" made a name for himself by using the storm drain at Liberty Canyon multiple times and during our nine months of tracking him, he crossed the 101 and 118 Freeways more than 40 times! P-64 is only the fifth mountain lion documented to have crossed the 101 Freeway, and just the second, after P-12 in 2009, to come into the Santa Monica Mountains from other natural areas to the north.

His home range consisted of the northern Santa Monica Mountains, the Simi Hills, and the Santa Susana Mountains.


Last updated: October 21, 2020

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