A 10-lane highway in Los Angeles, California has always been known as a stretch of road where mountain lions are often killed due to being struck by moving vehicles.
The latest death was reported a mere month ago on 23 March.
The area goes through critical habitat for mountain lions, a protected species in the United States. Since 2002, 25 mountain lions have already been killed on this particular stretch of highway.
Now, a project that’s been in the making for almost a decade has just started. Beth Pratt is a conservation leader with the National Wildlife Federation and has spent most of the last decade planning, persuading and bringing together stakeholders.
“I’m a little dizzy still, but I feel relieved: we have the chance to give these mountain lions a shot at a future.”
Construction on a corridor-like bridge between two parts of the Santa Monica mountains has begun. The corridor will be like a crossing for mountain lions and other animals including snakes, toads and lizards.
The vegetated sound walls will dampen light and noise for those nocturnal animals trying to cross at night. It’s believed that an average of 300 000 cars pass through the area on a daily basis.
The bridge will be 64 metres long and 50 metres wide.
CNN reports that the $87 million Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing aims to provide a safe passage from the Santa Monica Mountains into the Simi Hills of the Santa Susana mountain range.
Image credit: The Architect’s Newspaper