A state board has awarded $1 million to Caltrans and the National Wildlife Federation for their efforts to build a mountain lion crossing over the 101 freeway in Agoura Hills.
The State Coastal Conservancy board approved the grant on Thurs., Jan. 29, according to reports from the board.
Officials report an estimated $10 million necessary to complete a project connecting the Santa Monica Mountains at Liberty Canyon, enabling wildlife population growth and genetic diversity.
“The proposed wildlife crossing is intended to restore connectivity between large blocks of important wildlife habitat in the inland Sierra Madre Mountains and the coastal Santa Monica Mountains,” the nine-page Conservancy report states.
Due to freeway developments and population growth, animals requiring large home ranging areas are isolated in the Santa Monica Mountain range and suffer high mortality rates and inbreeding.
The crossing would provide connectivity for animals to survive in larger regions and also potentially prevent vehicle traffic incidents involving wildlife crossing over the freeway, most recently the death of a male mountain lion.
An additional $2 million fundraising commitment by the National Wildlife Federation is necessary for pre-construction project costs, according to the state board.
For the full report, click here.