Each year the Department's Mountain Lion Response Team investigates hundreds of mountain-lion sighting reports. Because cougars are reclusive animals, it's hard to know exactly when and where they may be present. Although a reported sighting can be very compelling, we must gather hard evidence before we can confirm the mountain lion sighting.
Even physical evidence such as tracks and photos can be misleading. Dog tracks and dogs themselves are the number one and number two cases of misidentification. Watch the video below to determine the difference between dog and mountain lion tracks. Bobcats, house cats, coyotes, foxes, and deer have also been mistaken for mountain lions.
So how does the Mountain Lion Response Team determine whether physical evidence is from a mountain lion or some other kind of animal? The following slideshow shows you how.