April 22 Groundbreaking Set for Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing, Good News for Cougars and Other Wildlife

The Liberty Canyon overcrossing is counting the hours to ground breaking. When completed, the overcrossing will help alleviate inbreeding among cougars and other local wildlife and reduce wildlife death by traffic accident. Friday’s groundbreaking by Caltrans will start the clock on the two-year project.

A projection of the completed project

Officially known as the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Overcrossing after a major donor the bridge has two major functions. The crossing will connect home ranges of many animals including deer, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats. This will allow mingling and should reduce inbreeding. Second, the pathway should drastically reduce traffic fatalities among wild species.

NPS Cougars are the headline animals to benefit from the crossing. These kittens were born locally and the crossing will help ensure their future. NPS photo

The project is the result of public and private efforts uniting federal,state, and local agencies and numerous wildlife organizations. Tens of millions of dollars have been raised to make the trail a reality.

deer on snow field
Mule deer are the key prey species and will also benefit from the crossing .Photo by Rod Dion on Pexels.com

Public interest in the crossing grew as a result of a 20-year National Park Service (NPS) study. The study counted mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains. That study revealed that there were more lions in the area than earlier believed. However, they were probably doomed to local extinction. Traffic accidents and inbreeding were the major culprits. Local citizens decided to take action and the project was begun.

Other countries such as India face similar conservation issues. India has been working to preserve many animals, including tigers. The goal in both countries has been to connect populations.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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