Trends in Mountain Lion Encounters

The Department receives hundreds of reported Wildlife Incidents annually related to mountain lion sightings in California. Many reports are resolved by providing information about the natural history and behavior of mountain lions. Other reports confirm incidents whereby a legitimate threat posed by mountain lions can be resolved by modifying human behavior. Few sightings result in a mountain lion being identified as an imminent threat to public safety and killed under CDFW Wildlife Public Safety Guidelines.

Below is a 5-Year "snapshot" of reported mountain lion sightings in California 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 County: 1 female
  • Inyo County: 1 male

2012 – 162 incidents / 7 Safety

  • Butte County: 1 - sex not reported
  • Modoc County: 1 female
  • San Mateo County: 2 - sex not reported
  • Los Angeles County: 1 male
  • Orange County: 1 male
  • Stanislaus County: 1 female

2011 – 214 incidents / 3 Safety

  • San Bernardino County: 1 female, 1 male
  • Tulare County: 1 female

2010 – 127 incidents / 7 Safety

  • Kern County: 1 female
  • San Joaquin County: 1 female
  • Fresno County: 1 male
  • San Bernardino County: 2 males
  • Alameda County: 1 - sex not reported
  • San Luis Obispo County: 1 male

2009 – 141 incidents / 1 Safety

  • San Diego County: 1 male