In addition to what appears to be an increase in traffic incidents, scientists are observing an increase in bobcat deaths locally.
The National Park Service shared earlier this week that at least six bobcats were killed over the past three months in the Santa Monica Mountains area.
B-361, an adult male bobcat, was hit by a car on Las Virgenes Road on March 15 and later died. He was collared just two days before the Woolsey Fire, and survived—though 88 percent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) burned in the fire.
The National Park Service has been researching and tracking bobcats in the Santa Monica Mountains area since 1996. According to researchers, the second most common cause of death for bobcats is being struck by a vehicle. (The first is mange—a rare skin disease caused by parasitic mites.)
Joanne Moriarty, a biologist part of the bobcat study, said this is not normal.
“She [Moriarty] does not recall another period when this many bobcats have been killed by cars within such a short period of time,” SMMNRA Ranger Ana Beatriz shared in a social media post.