Iowa DNR Gives Update on Mountain Lion Sightings

(Radio Iowa) DNR Conservation and Recreation Division Administrator, Pete Hildreth, gave the Natural Resources Commission an update on recent mountain lion sightings during their meeting Thursday. He told the N-R-C members the advent of trail and other cameras has led to more videos showing the animals.

“The department continues to receive reports of large canines, such as mountain lions, and therefore you may have heard about, heard in the news, about a recent video and report down by Warren Madison County border,” Hildreth says.
He says the number of mountain lions in the state is still very small.

“Based on reports, we estimate that there are five to seven mountain lions in Iowa at this time. Between 1995 and 2021, there have been 34 mountain lion sightings in Iowa,” he says. Hildreth says the animals are capable of moving long distances across the state.

“No documented self-sustaining populations of mountain lions live in Iowa. Most mountain lions who wander into Iowa can be traced back to South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska,” according to Hildreth. He says the D-N-R’s goals are to notify the public in a timely manner of sightings, and provide technical assistance to individuals and communities regarding the best available scientific information. Hildreth says are some key things they always point out.

“Mountain lions generally avoid humans, and sightings of them are rare. There have been no fatal mountain lion attacks in Iowa in the last 110 years,” Hildreth says. He says one thing he hears is that people are more apt to be killed by a dog or struck by lightning than being attacked by a mountain lion. Hildreth said he wanted to update the commission after all the news and social media reports of the recent camera footage of the mountain lions in Madison County.