Explore our coexistence resources.
While working on the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing Project, partners through the #SaveLACougars campaign identified a critical need for communicating information about cougars, coexistence practices, and policy to the public. This document was collaboratively developed by #SaveLACougars partners to comprehensively address questions about cougars, human-wildlife interactions, and coexistence strategies, and to serve as an educational resource to the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing Project, its partners, community members, coexistence managers, and all people with questions about cohabitating with cougars within and beyond California.
The goal of this FAQ is to inform, engage, and empower stakeholders living, recreating, and working in cougar habitat in Southern California surrounding the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing. Some questions and answers herein, especially concerning state and regional policy, contain information specifically pertaining to the Santa Monica Mountains, Verdugo Mountains, Simi Hills, Los Padres National Forest, and areas where cougars are a candidate species for protection under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). However, the scientific and other coexistence strategy information included here are intended to inform any community members, wildlife managers, coexistence practitioners, stakeholders, or other interested parties wherever cougars and humans coexist. This project was funded by the National Wildlife Federation.
Cougars, like people, populate most of California. But unlike people, they do so at very low numbers on the landscape. You are most likely to come into contact with a cougar near your home if you live near remnant natural habitat. Cougars tend to avoid residential areas and are generally fearful of people but sometimes use our backyards out of necessity as their habitat is increasingly fragmented by urbanization. Here are measures you can take to prevent or resolve conflicts with cougars.
Solve Rodent Problems Without Poison
Preventative measures designed to repel, exclude, and deter rodents that emphasize proper sanitation can and should replace the use of anticoagulant rodenticides under most circumstances.
Cougars, like us, want to avoid confrontation. They are cautious animals that purposely try to avoid humans whenever possible - audio recordings of human voices can even drive them to abandon their food cache! There is enough individual variation between cougars, however, that some may choose to avoid us but not the areas we recreate in. While cougar attacks are extremely rare, it’s important to take these preventive measures when recreating in cougar habitat to ensure the safety of yourself and the cougars you share space with.
All cougar photographs on this page are courtesy of Cougarmagic.
Los Angeles, California, USA
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