Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Biological status of mountain lions in California


We review the history of management and present legal status of mountain lions in California, the political situation leading to the present status, and some of the biological factors that have been controversial, particularly relating to population status and trends. We summarize past and current research efforts related to mountain lions within California, noting that the amount of effort devoted to mountain lion studies in California is greater than has been recognized. We review population trends and estimates, and we describe past and current management methods, including bounties and other methods to resolve predation incidents. Human-lion encounters are discussed, including a history of lion attacks on humans within the U.S. We recognize that management of the mountain lion in California affects many individuals and interest groups and is therefore a political decision.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View