Monday, 13 January 2014

Habitat Fragmentation Causes Inbreeding in California Cougars

By Laura Poppick, Staff Writer | January 10, 2014 04:13pm ET

P-32, shown here, is one of three mountain lion kittens born
 recently in the Santa Monica Mountains that are the result 
of first-order inbreeding.
Credit: National Park Service
Three mountain-lion cubs born recently in Southern California have been identified as inbred, adding to a growing list of inbreeding cases amongst these animals as a result of habitat fragmentation in this region, according to a statement from the National Park Service.

The three cubs — two females and one male — were born last month in the Santa Monica Mountains outside Los Angeles. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted preliminary DNA tests on all three of the cubs and their parents to identify their genetic makeup, and found that the cubs' father was also the father of their mother. 

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