New research provides foundation to look at protecting mountain lions, particularly when it comes to Highway 17
An adult male mountain lion called simply “Number 16” by the Santa Cruz Puma Project led a scientifically interesting life for the more than two-year period he was tracked by the UC Santa Cruz-based research project.
According to Chris Wilmers, associate professor of environmental studies at UCSC and head of the Puma Project, the group initially caught and collared Number 16 in Loch Lomond. He then proceeded to cross Highway 17 several times, where he was eventually was hit, but survived. In an unusual move for an adult male, Number 16 then shifted his home range to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. Recently, the lion’s tracking collar went on “mortality mode.” The day before Wilmers spoke to Good Times, the researchers found his skeleton.