Changing status of mountain lion in California and livestock depredation problems
- Author(s): Weaver, Richard A.
- Sitton, Larry
- et al.
The California Department of Fish and Game studied depredation by mountain lions on livestock from 1971 through 1977 to determine the scope of the problem. Information was needed on the physical characteristics of a stock killer, the frequency and trend of predation, the livestock types preyed upon, and the geographic distribution of incidents. Department of Fish and Game verified 134 incidents of mountain lion predation on livestock which occurred between April 1971 and December 1977. Forty-five mountain lions (28 males and 17 females) were killed on depredation during this time. Approximately 42 percent of the predation incidents involved sheep, 22 percent goats and 16 percent cattle, with horses, pigs, poultry and pets composing most of the remaining prey. California's south coast region from Santa Clara to Ventura County reported 44 percent of the predation incidents, 28 percent from the Sierra Nevada, 20 percent from the north coast from Napa and Sonoma counties to Humboldt County and nearly 8 percent from southern California. There does not appear to be a stock-killer profile of common sex, age or health factors. Present depredation policy appears adequate to handle the problem, but efficiency could be increased by coordinating incident verification investigations and available depredation resources, such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and county predator control agents.