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Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Michigan.

In the box below you will find all the governing state statutes, mountain lion legal status, state laws, information about the state legislature, initiative and referendum processes, and the state wildlife agency, mountain lion management plans, mountain lion hunting laws, depredation laws, and other regulations as appropriate.

  • 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!

Michigan Cougar Laws and Regulations

Species Status

Cougars are native to Michigan, and once roamed across the state. However, by the turn of the century, humans had completely eradicated them from the state. Since then, there have been periodic reports of cougar sightings, but very few have been verified. Michigan considers cougars furbearers, however, in the rare event of a cougar occurring within state lines, the listed as endangered and is protected from hunting under state law.

Visit the Michigan state website for further details.

The Legislature

Michigan's Legislature consists of 148 members of the Senate and House of Representatives. There are 110 State Representatives and 38 Senators. The Senate is elected by the qualified electors of districts having approximately 212,400 to 263,500 residents. Senators are elected at the same time as the governor and serve 4-year terms concurrent with the governor's term of office. Terms for senators begin on January 1, following the November general election. There Michigan Representatives are elected by the qualified electors of districts having approximately 77,000 to 91,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures through the federal decennial census. Representatives are elected in even- numbered years to 2-year terms, with the current term expiring on December 31, 2016. Each Representative is limited to serving 3 terms.

Visit the Michigan state website to find Senators and Prepresentatives.

Visit the Michigan Senate website to find more information.

Visit the Michigan House website to find more information.

Hunting Law

There are no hunting laws pertaining to mountain lions in the state of Michigan.

State Law

This list of Endangered and Threatened Species was filed with the Secretary of State on April 9, 2009. These rules become effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State unless adopted under sections 33, 44, or 45a(6) of 1969 PA 306. Rules adopted under these sections become effective 7 days after filing with the Secretary of State.

Visit the Michigan state legislature website for an entire list of endangered species in the state of Michigan. Cougars are listed as the first species in R 299.1027 Mammals. Rule 7. (1)

State Regulation

Visit this website to search through Michiganís state laws. To refine your search terms to find specific information about wildlife or endangered species.

Visit this website to find laws pertaining to wildlife and natural resources.

Visit this website to find information on the Wildlife Conservation Order. This order has 15 chapters about wildlife regulations and legislative laws. Unfortunately, there is nothing specific to cougars in this order as there is no current population living within the state.

Public Safety Law

Cougars may be killed if they pose an immediate threat to human life. Following the incident, it must be directly reported to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. If the animal is a threat to human life and safety, conservation officers or other DNR employees may remove to euthanize the animal.

Visit this website for more information on public safety law.

Depredation Law

Wild cougars cannot be killed by public for pets or livestock without a permit from the Department of Natural Resources. It is critical that any depredation by cougars is reported immediately to the DNR and al physical evidence must not be removed.

Under the Large Carnivore Act, large cats (exotics and cougars) that are escaped pets can be killed in defense of life and/or property.

Visit this website to report poaching to the Department of Natural Resources.


Section 324.36507 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act Part 365 of Endangered Species Protection states: A person who violates this part or who fails to procure any permit required under this part is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or less than $100.00, or both.

Visit this website to report poaching to the Department of Natural Resources.

Road Mortalities

Michigan provides some instructions and information on roadway wildlife mortalities.

Visit this website to find information.

Click here to visit the scorecard's website...

Environmental Scorecard

League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters' scorecard considers the State Legislature's environmental records since 1971. It quantifies the environmental votes of each individual legislator — an important first step in considering accountability — and provides critical qualitative assessments as well. The scorecard will help you to know your legislator before you write a letter in support of cougars.

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

Executive Director

(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.



Copyright 1988-2019. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.