California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Trends in Mountain Lion Encounters

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife logs hundreds of Wildlife Incident Reports annually related to mountain lion sightings. On average, fewer than three percent of these reports result in a mountain lion being identified as an imminent threat to public safety and killed under the CDFW's Wildlife Public Safety Guidelines.

Many of these reports are resolved by providing information about the natural history and behavior of mountain lions. Other reports are legitimate threats posed by mountain lions that can be resolved by modifying human behavior.

Below is a breakdown of reported mountain lion incidents where the presence of a mountain lion was verified by responding personnel (incidents) and situations where the mountain lions killed for public safety reasons (safety) from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2013.

2013 – 95 incidents/2 Safety

  • Tehama 1 female
  • Inyo 1 male

2012 – 162 incidents/7 Safety

  • Butte 1 not reported
  • Modoc 1 female
  • San Mateo 2 unknown
  • Los Angeles 1 male
  • Orange 1 male
  • Stanislaus 1 female

2011 – 214 incidents/3 Safety

  • San Bernardino 1 female
  • San Bernardino 1 male
  • Tulare 1 female

2010 – 127 incidents/7 Safety

  • Kern 1 female
  • San Joaquin 1 female
  • Fresno 1 male
  • San Bernardino 1 male
  • Alameda 1 not reported
  • San Bernardino 1 male
  • San Luis Obispo 1 male

2009 – 141 incidents/1 Safety

  • San Diego 1 male

Data compiled 02/06/2014