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Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Michigan

State law lists mountain lions as an endangered species. Mountain lions may not be hunted or trapped for fur in Michigan. However, per depredation policy, the Michigan DNR may issue a permit to remove, capture, or destroy a mountain lion “to alleviate damage to property or to protect human health.” In emergency situations involving an immediate threat to human life any person may remove, capture, or destroy the lion. At the same time, owners of domestic animals do not appear to be required to protect their pets or livestock. Nor is there a government-funded compensation program for domestic animals lost to mountain lions.

  • Return to the portal page for Michigan.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Michigan.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Michigan.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Michigan.

  • Cougar science and research in Michigan.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!


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More about Michigan

Poaching laws in Michigan provide some legal protection of mountain lions, but only as a deterrent. Unfortunately, penalties are unlikely to be sufficiently harsh to keep poachers from poaching again. Illegally taking a mountain lion results is a misdemeanor charge punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

Finally, the Michigan Department of Transportation does not require road kill reporting or keep a record of mountain lions killed on the State’s roads. Doing so could aid in the development of effective mitigation plans.

Here's what you can do:

Immediate Steps

  1. Build a coalition to learn from and educate people on how to peacefully coexist with the mountain lion population.
  2. Contribute a positive voice. Write a letter to your local newspaper expressing your excitement about local mountain lions and your views on the importance of protecting them.
  3. Distribute educational information on how residents can protect their pets and livestock. Consider animal shelters, veterinary clinics, 4H clubs, Scouting organizations, FFA, shooting clubs, and any other pertinent public locations as potential outlets.
  4. Email and suggest local officials friendly to mountain lion conservation in Michigan.

Interim Steps:

  1. Become familiar with Michigan Department of Natural Resources policies toward mountain lions. Reach out to MLF and wildlife experts. Then attend public meetings with your local DNR Commissions, Boards and Committees and ask them to:
    1. Develop a Mountin Lion Management Plan that will protect mountain lions and their habitat.
    2. Encourage non-consumptive practices for landowners concerned with depredation issues.
    3. Petition for higher penalties for mountain lion poaching.
  2. Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions? Write to them:
    1. Urge them to require recodrs, including date, time and location, of mountain lions killed on roads.
    2. Propose a government-funded compensation program for domestic animals lost to mountain lions that compensates the owner with resources to protects their remaining assets from mountain lions.

Long term Steps:

  1. Request to meet with your state legislators to talk about
    1. developing a liability initiative to incentivize or require owners to take certain measures to protect pets and livestock from mountain lions.
    2. Increasing the penalties for poachers of endangered species.

ON AIR: Phil Carter - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

03/19/13 An Audio Interview with Julie West, MLF Broadcaster

In this edition of our audio podcast ON AIR, MLF Volunteer Julie West interviews mountain lion program manager Phil Carter of Animal Protection of Michigan. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the Michigan Department of Game and Fish will go to to disregard the public, bury scientific research, and ignore all common sense. Trying to protect mountain lions in Michigan and incorporate the best science into management has turned into a game of one step forward, two steps back.

Click here to view our Activist Guide...

Becoming a Mountain Lion Activist

There are lots of opportunities to take action!

Are you new to mountain lion activism? You want to change your local environment to improve it for cougars... but you don't know how to start. You may feel like you are all alone... but it takes just one person to change the attitudes and lifestyles of hundreds of others. You don't need to belong to a group. It doesn't take special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about cougars to want to help them survive. You've already done the hard part, now let us help you with the next step.

Click here to open a new window and visit the agency's website...

Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Commonly abbreviated as: MIDNR

Keith Creagh, Executive Director

Michigan Department of
Natural Resources
Executive Division
P.O. Box 30028
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 284-6367

Non-Game Coordinator
Ray Rustem
Mason Building, Fourth Floor
P.O. Box 30444
Lansing, MI 48909-7944
(517) 373-2457

Please write to the director and express your concern for lions in Michigan.

Thank the agency when they take steps to protect our state's cougars. When they fall short of expectations, politely ask for policy reform and more officer training.