Ecology & Conservation of Mountain Lions in Greater Los Angeles – A Webinar with Dr. John Benson


Naturally, vast expanses of concrete teeming with people and cars shouldn’t be the ideal environment for large elusive predators. Still, a city with the dubious honor of being among the most traffic-afflicted regions in the U.S. also has mountain lions living within the city limits.

Despite their ability to do a great job at avoiding people, mountain lions living in greater Los Angeles have gotten a lot of attention over the years, thanks in part to an individual lion people call P-22.

P-22 has become something of a celebrity since he was first spotted ten years ago in Griffith Park, a 4,000-acre park tucked in the Hollywood hills.
But fame only gets you so far, and with the many obstacles mountain lions in and adjacent to Los Angeles face, including high rates of inbreeding, low genetic diversity, isolated home ranges, vehicle collisions, and more, these cats are at risk of local extinction.

In this webinar, Dr John Bensonl discusses the Ecology and Conservation of Mountain Lions in Greater Los Angeles, and explains why there is hope for the cats despite the daunting challenges they face.

Dr. Benson and his colleagues with the National Park Service have been studying behavior and population dynamics of mountain lions in southern California for almost 20 years to investigate their ecology in and adjacent to Los Angeles. And their research has revealed that these populations can persist with relatively modest efforts.

Dr. John Benson is an associate professor of vertebrate ecology at the University of Nebraska. He has conducted research on wildlife populations across North America studying mountain lions, wolves, black bears, coyotes, moose, mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, white sharks, and other species. He is motivated by a desire to inform the conservation of wildlife – and by a fascination with the natural world. His work combines population, behavioral, molecular, and landscape ecology as he attempts to understand factors influencing individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. In his lab at the University of Nebraska, they conduct intensive field studies around the world, asking questions grounded in theoretical ecology and using quantitative approaches to inform conservation and contribute to basic ecology.

The Wolf Conservation Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental education organization committed to conserving wolf populations in North America through science-based education programming and participation in the federal Species Survival Plans for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf and red wolf. Through wolves, the WCC teaches the broader message of conservation, ecological balance, and personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World.

For more information about wolves and the WCC’s participation in wolf recovery, please visit

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