A Tale of Two Mountain Lions

Using GPS radio collar technology, National Park Service biologists are studying the behaviors of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. As these large cats fight for survival, some are killed while attempting to cross congested freeways.  Some are even poisoned by rodenticides that find their way up the food chain.

Since 2002, the National Park Service has tracked more than 30 mountain lions using GPS radio-collars. Currently, it's tracking 11 mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains, according to KCET environmental journalist Chris Clarke.

Cara Santa Maria parallels the stories of P-22 and P-32, two mountain lions who successfully departed the Santa Monica Mountains by crossing multiple freeways, only to find troubling fates in the world beyond. P-22 gained nationwide attention after a National Geographic photographer snapped a picture of him posing in front of the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park.  He's one of many mountain lions outfitted with collars by the National Park Service.

What needs to be done in order to protect and coexist with a dwindling population that is often caught in the crossfire of an urban sprawl? Some suggest wildlife crossings to sustain the mountain lion population. But is that enough? How is urbanization
impeding the health and wellness of these mountain lions?

(Banner photo courtesy of the National Park Service).

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Miguel Ordenana, Natural History Museum of LA County
  • Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, National Wildlife Federation
  • Jeff Sikich, National Park Service
  • Seth Riley, National Park Service

Upcoming Airdates

Organic Waste, U.S. Bank Tower, Educated and Homeless, Handful of Cards

Season 7, Episode 27

Food scraps are turned into fuel at a state-of-the-art Orange County recycling center.

A close-up view of the colorful light show from the top of downtown's U.S. Bank tower. 

A graduate student at UCLA has a secret. He has chosen to live in his car.

The amazing dexterity of twins who have mastered the art of "cardistry." 

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Hyperloop, Robotic Parking, Vintage Steam Train

Season 7, Episode 21

Two competing L.A. companies are developing a "hyperloop" to move people at 750 mph in a frictionless tube. Can it really work?

At a high-tech garage in West Hollywood a computerized robotic system 'stacks' cars for efficient use of parking space.

In Fillmore, a 1913 steam powered locomotive is still going strong giving passengers an authentic taste of classic railroad travel. 

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Bugs as Food, Freezing Plants, Eco-Village, Penguins and iPads

Season 7, Episode 28

The popularity of bugs as food is growing. Could insects be our next big food source?

A scientist at the Huntington Botanical Gardens is finding a way to freeze succulents that could go extinct.

The Eco-Village is an “intentional community” of people who live sustainably, affordably and cooperatively in the middle of LA.

Penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific enjoy chasing virtual mice on an IPad.


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Season 7, Episode 22

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White rhino Nola was the Safari Park's signature animal, but now she's a symbol of extinction.

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Season 7 Episode 31

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The Wrongly Convicted

Season 7, Episode 18

A special in-depth look at two men who were imprisoned for crimes they did not commit and their efforts to get just compensation after being freed. 

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