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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF ALASKA

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Alaska

Though mountain lions once roamed the hills and forests of Alaska, persecution at the hands of humans has driven them locally extinct in the state. Fear and misinformation were the main forces driving this extirpation. But attitudes have changed since the early 1900s and there's hope for the future.

If we support mountain lion-friendly legislation, open space conservation, and preserve corridors connecting potential habitat, we could reverse this situation and bring mountain lions back home to Alaska.

    USE THE TABS TO THE LEFT TO EXPLORE:
  • Return to the portal page for Alaska.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Alaska.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Alaska.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Alaska.

  • Cougar science and research in Alaska.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Alaska

For more detail you can explore using the links below.

The status of puma concolor.

Though mountain lions once roamed the hills and forests of Alaska, persecution at the hands of humans has driven them locally extinct in the state. Fear and misinformation were the main forces driving this extirpation. But attitudes have changed since the early 1900s and there's hope for the future.

If we support mountain lion-friendly legislation, open space conservation, and preserve corridors connecting potential habitat, we could reverse this situation and bring mountain lions back home to Alaska.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Alaska.

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.

Click here to learn more about law

The history of lions in the state.

While Alaska is thought to be outside of mountain lions' current range, numerous sightings are reported annually. The most recent confirmation in Alaska occurred in December of 1998 when a wolf trapper accidentally snared a mountain lion near South Kupreanof Island. Prior to that, a mountain lion was shot and killed in Southeastern Alaska in 1989. These have been the only two confirmed kills in Alaska in recent history. These lions were likely dispersing individuals from British Columbia.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Alaska.

Though mountain lions once roamed the hills and forests of Alaska, persecution at the hands of humans drove them locally extinct. If we support open space conservation and preserve corridors connecting potential habitat, we could reverse this situation and bring mountain lions back home to Alaska.

Although mountain lions may be physically capable of living in an area, human activities and attitudes could keep them from reestablishing a population there. Fragmentation, sport hunting practices, and intolerant communities can wipe out mountain lions from any area. For more data on habitat use, check out our various Science tabs.

Click here to learn more about habitat

The science of lions in the state.

Despite ample prey, Alaska's cold climate make most of the state an unsuitable place for mountain lions. With very few mountain lions to study, there is no real research being conducted in Alaska.

Click on other states' Science Tabs to see the myriad of research projects being conducted by researchers from universities, state and federal agencies, non-profits, and other groups across the country.

Click here to learn more about science

Take action for lions.

Along with all other wild bird, reptile, and mammal species in Alaska, mountain lions are classified as game. However, mountain lions may not be hunted nor trapped for fur. Alaska's endangered species law says that the state may provide protection to any animal whose numbers may be in decline such that its continued existence is threatened. While this could apply to mountain lions, Alaska's endangered species list does not list them.

In fact, mountain lions are rarely mentioned in any state law or regulation. The state has no law addressing ountain lion depredations or poaching.

Click here to learn more about action
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