The hunting of mountain lions has been illegal in California since 1990, but because of their proximity to humans and civilization in California, these big cats have had a hard time crossing the street safely.
Construction of the world’s largest “nature bridge” should help reduce the number of statewide, automobile-related wildcat deaths.
Spanning over eight lanes of traffic on the 101 Freeway, the Liberty Canyon wildlife corridor is likely to measure 200 feet across and 165 feet wide. The highway will be bordered by drought-tolerant vegetation, and will cost between $33 and $38 million dollars.
It’s important for mountain lions to be able to roam over—and claim—new territory freely. If they can’t, the species risks inbreeding and territorial fighting between packs.
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is still putting together the finishing touches on the design plan, and have begun a fundraising initiative to help with expenses.
Since 2002, 12 mountain lions have been hit and killed in traffic on the 101.
Washington State recently broke ground on the first of several wildlife bridges planned for six lanes of traffic along the Cascade Mountains.
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