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‘Save L.A. Cougars’ works for wildlife crossing over 101: What would it look like?

Activists work to expand mountain lion range
This mountain lion cub, born in the Santa Monica Mountains, was likely a result of inbreeding, scientists say. Activists hope a wildlife passage over the 101 will add territory for finding mates.
(National Parks Service)

A bridge for wildlife to safely cross the 101 Freeway. It could happen.

The “Save L.A. Cougars” group is pushing for some kind of wildlife crossing that would provide safe passage. Supporters held a rally Friday morning near Liberty Canyon Road in Agoura Hills, the site of a proposed crossing that would link habitat on either side of one of the world’s busiest freeways.  

As the L.A. Times’ Martha Groves reported Thursday, it’s hoped that cougars, bobcats and other animals would make it safely from one side to the other, giving them more room to roam, and to find food and mates.

Animals, large and small, regularly meet a grisly end on Southern California roadways. Earlier this year, three mountain lion kittens died after being hit by cars as they tried to cross area roads. The National Wildlife Federation has counted 13 mountain lion fatalities in traffic accidents in a 12-year study.

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So what would this crossing look like? 

They exist in many other places in the U.S. and internationally. Banff National Park in Canada has 44 wildlife crossings alone -- six overpasses and 38 underpasses.  The park monitors the wildlife crossings, snapping pictures of its use with remote cameras. 

Activists had floated the idea of a tunnel under the 101, but now they are promoting the idea of a landscaped crossing. Such land bridges can look dramatic from on high. Check out this one in Scotch Plains, N.J., and this Netherlands “ecoduct.”

Banff park says animals flock to its crossing structures, pointing out that deer, coyotes, wolves, lynx, grizzly bears, elk and black bears began using wildlife crossing structures near Lake Louise while they were still under construction.

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Check out some images of wildlife crossings in the gallery above.

Follow me at @AmyTheHub


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