Confirming Mountain Lion Evidence
Each year the Conservation 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 say, “Yes, we have a confirmed mountain lion sighting.”
But 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. Bobcats and house cats—along with 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 slideshow on this page shows you how.