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Illinois issues nuisance permits to kill cougars that have caused no harm.

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 Illinois.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Illinois.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Illinois.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Illinois.

  • Cougar science and research in Illinois.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Illinois Cougar Laws and Regulations

Generally, treatment of wildlife in the State of Illinois is governed by the Illinois Compiled Statutes – the state’s collection of its current laws. Since our summary below may not be completely up to date, you should be sure to review the most current law for the State of Illinois.

You can check the statutes directly at a state-managed website
These statutes are searchable. Be sure to use the name “cougar” to accomplish your searches.

You may also use Findlaw for Legal Professionals at this website

Illinois’ wildlife regulations can be found in Title 17: Conservation of the Illinois Administrative Code – the state’s collection of its agencies’ regulations. The regulations are written by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The Legislature

The Illinois General Assembly is the state’s full-time, bicameral legislature. The lower chamber – the House of Representatives – is made up of 118 members who serve 2-year terms. The Democratic Party has controlled the Illinois House of Representatives since 1997. The upper chamber – the Senate – is made up of 59 members who serve 4-year terms. The Democratic Party has controlled the Illinois Senate since 2003. You may contact your Illinois state representative here and your Illinois state senator here.

The Constitution of the State of Illinois establishes when the state legislature must meet. Regular sessions begin each year on the second Wednesday of January. The governor may call special sessions of either the entire state legislature or the state senate only. The presiding officers of each legislative chamber may also call special sessions. The state constitution does not appear to contain limits on the duration of regular or special sessions.

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...

Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Commonly abbreviated as: IDNR

Wayne Rosenthal, Director

Main Office:
Illinois Department of
Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
(217) 785-8272

Conservatiom Section

James Renn
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
(217) 785-5907

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

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.



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