California’s Highway 101 may soon have a cougar overpass that will allow wild animals and human hikers to cross the 10-lane freeway without having to dodge traffic.
As the human population of Southern California has grown, the wildlife population has been divided into pockets in preserves and parks. Traveling among these wildlife habitats has become increasingly dangerous, especially for animals as large as the cougars that inhabit the mountains.
Not only has the crossing the busy roadways cost many cougars their lives, those cats that don’t risk it are becoming increasingly inbred because of the lack of genetic diversity in the isolated areas they have safe access to.
California is considering building an cougar overpass such as the wildlife crossings that already exist in places around the world.
As you can imagine, this story has already received a lot of attention from environmentalists and animal lovers. We found it written about already in The LA Times (which makes sense) but also national publications like The Smithsonian and The Guardian.
The cougar overpass campaign is spearheaded by the National Wildlife Federation, if you’d like to contact them and lend your support.