Chapter 10. Mountain Lions of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 4. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 10.
(a) The mountain lion (genus Puma) is a specially protected
mammal under the laws of this state.
(b) (1) It is unlawful to take, injure, possess, transport,
import, or sell a mountain lion or a product of a mountain lion,
except as specifically provided in this chapter or in Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 2116) of Division 3.
(2) This chapter does not prohibit the sale or possession of a
mountain lion or a product of a mountain lion, when the owner can
demonstrate that the mountain lion, or product of a mountain lion,
was in the person's possession on June 6, 1990.
(3) This chapter does not prohibit the possession of a mountain
lion carcass or a product of a mountain lion carcass, if all of the
following requirements are met:
(A) The carcass or carcass product is prepared or being prepared
for display, exhibition, or storage, for a bona fide scientific or
educational purpose, at a nonprofit museum or government-owned
facility generally open to the public or at an educational
institution, including a public or private postsecondary institution.
(B) The mountain lion was taken in California consistent with the
requirements of this chapter and any other applicable law.
(C) The department has authorized the possession of the carcass or
carcass product for the purposes of this paragraph.
(c) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by
imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or a fine
of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that
fine and imprisonment. An individual is not guilty of a violation of
this section if it is demonstrated that, in taking or injuring a
mountain lion, the individual was acting in self-defense or in
defense of others.
(d) Section 219 does not apply to this chapter. Neither the
commission nor the department shall adopt any regulation that
conflicts with or supersedes a provision of this chapter.
The department may remove or take any mountain lion, or
authorize an appropriate local agency with public safety
responsibility to remove or take any mountain lion, that is perceived
to be an imminent threat to public health or safety or that is
perceived by the department to be an imminent threat to the survival
of any threatened, endangered, candidate, or fully protected sheep
(a) Unless authorized in this chapter, nonlethal procedures
shall be used when removing or taking any mountain lion that has not
been designated as an imminent threat to public health or safety.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, "imminent threat to public
health or safety" means a situation where a mountain lion exhibits
one or more aggressive behaviors directed toward a person that is not
reasonably believed to be due to the presence of responders.
(c) For purposes of this chapter, "nonlethal procedures" means
procedures that may include, but are not limited to, capturing,
pursuing, anesthetizing, temporarily possessing, temporarily
injuring, marking, attaching to or surgically implanting monitoring
or recognition devices, providing veterinary care, transporting,
hazing, rehabilitating, releasing, or taking no action.
(d) The department may, as the department determines is necessary
to protect mountain lions or the public, authorize qualified
individuals, educational institutions, governmental agencies, or
nongovernmental organizations to implement nonlethal procedures on a
mountain lion in accordance with subdivision (a).
Any person, or the employee or agent of a person, whose
livestock or other property is being or has been injured, damaged, or
destroyed by a mountain lion may report that fact to the department
and request a permit to take the mountain lion.
Upon receipt of a report pursuant to Section 4802, the
department, or any animal damage control officer specifically
authorized by the department to carry out this responsibility, shall
immediately take the action necessary to confirm that there has been
depredation by a mountain lion as reported. The confirmation process
shall be completed as quickly as possible, but in no event more than
48 hours after receiving the report. If satisfied that there has been
depredation by a mountain lion as reported, the department shall
promptly issue a permit to take the depredating mountain lion.
In order to ensure that only the depredating mountain lion
will be taken, the department shall issue the permit pursuant to
Section 4803 with the following conditions attached:
(a) The permit shall expire 10 days after issuance.
(b) The permit shall authorize the holder to begin pursuit not
more than one mile from the depredation site.
(c) The permit shall limit the pursuit of the depredating mountain
lion to within a 10-mile radius from the location of the reported
damage or destruction.
Whenever immediate authorization will materially assist in
the pursuit of the particular mountain lion believed to be
responsible for the depredation reported pursuant to Section 4802,
the department or the animal damage control officer may orally
authorize the pursuit and taking of the depredating mountain lion,
and the department shall issue a written permit for the period
previously authorized as soon as practicable after the oral
Any person issued a permit pursuant to Section 4803 or 4805
shall report, by telephone within 24 hours, the capturing, injuring,
or killing of any mountain lion to an office of the department or, if
telephoning is not practicable, in writing within five days after
the capturing, injuring, or killing of the mountain lion. At the time
of making the report of the capturing, injuring, or killing, the
holder of the permit shall make arrangements to turn over the
mountain lion or the entire carcass of the mountain lion which has
been recovered to a representative of the department and shall do so
in a timely manner.
(a) Any mountain lion that is encountered while in the act of
pursuing, inflicting injury to, or killing livestock, or domestic
animals, may be taken immediately by the owner of the property or the
owner's employee or agent. The taking shall be reported within 72
hours to the department. The department shall investigate the
depredation, and, if the mountain lion was captured, injured, or
killed, the mountain lion or the entire carcass of the mountain lion
which has been recovered shall be turned over to the department. Upon
satisfactorily completing the investigation and receiving the
mountain lion or the carcass, if recovered, the department shall
issue a permit confirming that the requirements of this section have
been met with respect to the particular mountain lion taken under
(b) The department shall undertake a complete necropsy on any
returned mountain lion carcass and report the findings to the
commission. The commission shall compile the reported findings and
prepare an annual written report that shall be submitted to the
Legislature not later than the January 15 next following the year in
which the mountain lion was taken.
As used in this chapter, "agent" means the agent or employee
of the owner of the damaged or destroyed property, any county or city
predator control officer, any employee of the Animal Damage Control
Section of the United States Department of Agriculture, any
departmental personnel, or any authorized or permitted houndsman
registered with the department as possessing the requisite experience
and having no prior conviction of any provision of this code or
regulation adopted pursuant to this code. A plea of nolo contendere
is a conviction for purposes of this section.
Mountain lions authorized to be taken pursuant to this
chapter shall be taken by the most effective means available to take
the mountain lion causing the damage or destruction, except that no
mountain lion shall be taken by means of poison, leg-hold or
metal-jawed traps, and snares.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Authorized research project" means a research project
involving mountain lions subject to a Scientific Collecting Permit
issued in accordance with this section.
(2) "Permitholder" means a person to whom the department has
issued a Scientific Collecting Permit in accordance with this
(3) "Scientific Collecting Permit" or "permit" means a permit
issued pursuant to Section 1002 for a research project involving
mountain lions in accordance with this section.
(b) The department may authorize qualified individuals,
educational institutions, governmental agencies, or nongovernmental
organizations to conduct scientific research involving mountain lions
pursuant to a Scientific Collecting Permit as provided in Section
(c) The department may authorize a permitholder to pursue,
capture, temporarily possess, temporarily injure, mark, surgically
implant a monitoring or recognition device in or attach such a device
to, provide veterinary care to, and transport, a mountain lion or a
product of a mountain lion.
(d) In addition to the requirements in Section 1002, an authorized
research project shall be designed to do the following:
(1) Contribute to the knowledge of natural wildlife ecosystems.
(2) Minimize disruptions in the lives and movements of mountain
lions and other wildlife, as well as impacts to mountain lion or
other wildlife habitat, while maintaining the permitholder's research
(3) Directly or indirectly support the sustainability and survival
of mountain lion populations and healthy ecosystems.
(4) Prevent the permanent injury or killing of a mountain lion.
(e) An authorized research project shall be governed by the
Scientific Collecting Permit. The permit shall include, at a minimum,
proposed research methods and recordkeeping procedures that address
(1) The capture of, anesthetization of, collection of diagnostic
samples from, and transport of, a mountain lion or a product of a
(2) Attaching monitoring or recognization devices to, surgically
implanting those devices in, or marking, animals affected by the
(3) Providing veterinary care as required for the health, safety,
and humane treatment of animals affected by the research project.
(4) The recording of the adverse effects of authorized research
procedures on mountain lions and other wildlife.
(5) The qualifications of onsite personnel necessary for carrying
out authorized research procedures. A permit applicant shall submit
verifiable documentation demonstrating that at least one onsite staff
person has at least one year of experience in proposed research
methods that involve activities described in subdivision (c).
(6) Annual and final reports to the department.
(f) The department shall notify the public at least 30 days prior
to the issuance of a permit, and, upon request, shall make available
to the public copies of the permit and annual and final reports.
(g) The department shall handle mortality or permanent injury to a
mountain lion as a result of research authorized pursuant to this
section in a manner consistent with the reporting and processing
requirements imposed in Section 4807.