A new study has found that mountain lions living in Southern California's Santa Monica Mountains could face extinction because of inbreeding.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that wildlife researchers gave the lions a 99.7 percent chance of dying out over the next 50 years unless more cats are brought in. Scientists say the isolated population will face decreasing genetic variability and reach a point of no return in about 35 years.
National Park Service Wildlife Ecologist Seth Riley says numerous studies point to the population's extinction, but this is the only one to quantify how much time the animals may have left.
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The study was conducted by scientists with NPS; UCLA; the University of California, Davis; and Utah State University and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.