Vertebrate Species completed

Mountain Lion Critical Linkage Evaluation in MSPA

As a part of its ongoing Southern California Mountain Lion project, this study assesses mountain lion use of core conserved lands and linkages in western San Diego County. GPS-collaring of mountain lions was undertaken in order to acquire location and movement data from individual lions utilizing core conserved areas and linkages that have been designated by the county. Six mountain lions were GPS-collared in this study (5 males and 1 female). All 6 circulated extensively in one or more of the targeted conserved cores and linkages, as well as on adjacent conserved and unconserved lands. Of the 9 core conserved areas assessed, 6 were used regularly by collared mountain lions. Of the 11 linkages identified for assessment, only 3 were demonstrated to be utilized for regular movement from one core area to another. One other linkage between core conserved areas was demonstrated that was not pre-identified on the connectivity maps. Roads and associated development, even rural development, appear to be the primary limiters of connectivity between conserved lands.
Project Groups
  • SDMMP13 Mountain Lion Research, Monitoring, and Management

Project Focus

Mountain lion

Winston Vickers

Winston Vickers

University of California, Davis

Winston Vickers

Emily Perkins

Winston Vickers

Project Protocol
Strategic Elements
  • pre FY15-1
Project Location
Baja California, Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Diego

Mountain lion Puma concolor

Goal: Enhance and expand areas occupied by mountain lion in San Diego County in large interconnected blocks (>1,000 acres) of suitable natural vegetation surrounded by a limited number of high use roads, and increase connectivity (and reduce potential road mortality) between occupied and suitable habitat areas to allow expansion and movement of mountain lion occurrences within San Diego County and adjacent counties to increase effective population size to sustainable levels and work to reduce depredation on livestock to ensure persistence in the MSPA over the long-term (>100 years).

regional NFO 2017 SL

Management units: 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10

In 2017, finalize efforts begun in 2016, using available regional mountain lion movement data, to develop quantitative models of mountain lion movement in the MSPA to validate likely movement patterns and to assist with linkage and land protection prioritization.

Action Statement Action status Projects
RES-1 Project metadata, data, and report submitted to MSP web portal completed Mountain Lion Connectivity and Genetics Study- North San Diego County, Mountain Lion Critical Linkage Evaluation in MSPA
Criteria Deadline year
Mountain lion connectivity model completed by 2017 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Loss of connectivityLOSCON
Urban developmentURBDEV
File name Lead Author Year Type
Mountain Lion Connectivity Study Final Report Vickers, Winston 2014 report
Survival and Mortality of Pumas (Puma concolor) in a Fragmented, Urbanizing Landscape Vickers, Winston; Sanchez, Jessica; Johnson, Christine; Morrison, Scott; Botta, Randy; Smith, Trish; Cohen, Brian; Huber, Patrick; Ernest, Holly; Boyce, Walter 2015 journal article