Felidae Conservation Fund

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Living with Wildlife

If you live in or recreate in mountain lion habitat please read the following guidelines:
Note: Mountain lions and pumas are the same animal. These names are used interchangeably below.

At Your Home:
Trim vegetation surrounding your house where animals might find cover.
Do not feed or attract deer or other wildlife.
Remove plants that attract deer, raccoons, etc. Deer attract mountain lions. In more rural parts of the country, birdseed may attract animals that pumas might feed on.
Keep pets and pet food inside at night, and make sure you know where your pets are during the day – they make easy prey. This will protect them from coyotes and bobcats as well.
Fence livestock and keep contained in secure enclosures with a roof, especially at night.
Install outdoor lighting, preferably motion sensor lights in the most heavily trafficked areas.
Supervise children, particularly during dusk and dawn, when mountain lions are most active. Educate them about what to do if they see a mountain lion.

Download the Booklet for Keeping Pets and Livestock Safe
Download the Deer Resistance Booklet to learn tips on how to create a deer-resistant yard

Recreating in Mountain Lion Habitat:
Avoid hiking, biking or running alone, especially between dusk and dawn.
Avoid recreating between dusk and dawn.
If alone consider carrying pepper spray or mace, and a walking stick.
Keep children in front of you and close by.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a puma.
Never approach a puma of any size, especially a kitten.
Never approach a wildlife carcass.

Download the wallet card for recreating in mountain lion habitat
Download the bookmark for recreating in mountain lion habitat

Steve Bobzien

If you encounter a Mountain Lion:
Maintain eye contact.
Do not approach the lion, no matter how enthralled you are to see one.
Do not turn your back or run as this may trigger their instinct to chase. Stay calm!
Appear as big and threatening as possible.
Never turn your back. Give the mountain lion room to run away. Do not corner it.

If the Mountain Lion Appears Threatening:

Pull children close to you and pick them up without crouching down.
Throw rocks sticks, water bottles, backpacks and any heavy objects available to you.
Speak loudly and firmly. Wave your arms and clap your hands above your head.
Fight back if attacked. Do not play dead or lie down.
If you believe the encounter to be a valid public safety concern, report your sighting to your state and game agencies and any local wildlife organizations.

“You are more likely to be killed by falling plane parts than by a mountain lion, but ‘it is impossible to reduce the small risk to zero without eliminating either mountain lions or humans from lion habitat,’ Paul Beier, one of North America’s premiere puma researchers.

‘Neither is acceptable’ (From Forest Cats of North America. Jerry Kobalenko, Firefly Books, 1997).

Chances of Being Attacked

One verified puma attacks on a human in the San Francisco Bay Area in over 100 years

18 puma attacks on humans with
9 puma-related deaths in California since 1890

Read more about chances of attack
Download risk of attack bookmark

How does a mountain lion vocalize?

Purring puma
Kitten calling to its mother (Chirping)
Female in heat

Courtesy of:
Felidae Conservation Fund
The Mountain Lion Foundation
The Cougar Fund