This mountain lion is wearing a visible tracking collar. While we cannot tell from the photo, we know because of the collar that this is a male lion, called M125 (the “M” is a signifier that he is male). This collar was added during a study conducted by a conservation organization. Over time, these collars eventually stop transmitting, fall off, or are taken offline if a lion is found dead. In M125’s case, the collar is no longer transmitting but it hasn’t fallen off, and as you can tell, this lion is still healthy along the San Diego River. He is the only lion from the study who’s collar isn’t otherwise accounted for, so by process of elimination… meet M125!
This individual lion has also been photographed by our cameras at Boulder Creek Preserve, located several tributaries to the south, or about 7 miles as the crow flies. Quite the range!
Our camera program provides interesting insight about the home range and movement of these apex predators along the San Diego River, helping us to understand and document the value of water sources and wildlife corridors.