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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Arkansas

Though mountain lions once roamed the hills and forests of Arkansas, 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 Arkansas.

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

  • The status of Puma concolor in Arkansas.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Arkansas.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Arkansas.

  • Cougar science and research in Arkansas.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Arkansas

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 Arkansas, 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 Arkansas.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Arkansas.

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.

Before European settlement, mountain lions once occurred throughout Arkansas, and moved between Arkansas and neighboring states. Ideal habitat would have occurred in the forests, hills, and along the timbered streams, but mountain lions could have persisted anywhere there was ample prey.

Direct persecution, conversion of wildlands to agriculture and human development, roads and highways, and other forms of habitat loss all contributed to the decline and ultimate extirpation of mountain lions in Arkansas.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Arkansas.

Keep in mind that although lions are physically capable of living in certain places (based on geographical, vegetative and prey species characteristics), it does not mean they necessarily do. Fragmentation, sport hunting practices, and intolerant communities can wipe out lions from any area. For more data on habitat-usage, check out our Science tab.

Click here to learn more about habitat

The science of lions in the state.

Though mountain lions once roamed the great state of Arkansas, human persecution has eliminated them from its hills and forests. With no mountain lion population to study, there isn't any current research to report in Arkansas.

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.

Mountain Lions in Arkansas are classified as nongame wildlife and may not be hunted. While Arkansas endangered species laws are designed to preserve nongame species, mountain lions are not currently listed as such.

Poaching laws in Arkansas provide some legal protection for mountain lions, but the state does not have a law or regulation that defines a penalty for killing a nongame animal. Therefore, the penalty for illegally taking a mountain lion depends on whether the court opts to treat the lion as big or small game. The most severe penalty arises from the court treating the poached lion as big game.

Click here to learn more about action
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