Date of this Version
The mountain lion (Felis concolor) is widely distributed in California over at least 80,000 square miles of a variety of habitats. Trends in lion damage to property and threats to public safety have increased in recent years. The Department of Fish and Game has documented confirmed damage to property caused by lions since 1972. In 1972, there were four depredation permits issued and one mountain lion taken, while in 1993 there were 192 permits issued and 74 lions taken. Four verified incidents of mountain lions injuring humans have occurred in California since 1985. All four incidents involved children and none was fatal. Although difficult to verify, public reports of lion sightings are increasing, apparently as a result of increasing lion numbers and an expanding human population using lion habitats.