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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Illinois

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

    USE THE TABS TO THE LEFT TO EXPLORE:
  • 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!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Illinois

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 Illinois, 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 Illinois.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Illinois.

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.

Click here to learn more about law

The history of lions in the state.

Before European settlement, mountain lions once occurred throughout Illinois, and moved between Illinois 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 Illinois.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Illinois.

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

Click here to learn more about habitat

The science of lions in the state.

Though mountain lions once roamed the great state of Illinois, 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 Illinois.

Click here to learn more about science

Take action for lions.

In Illinois, the cougar is a protected species and by law, may not be trapped or hunted. However, it is not listed as an endangered species and is not protected from being killed. Illinois administrative code allows any cougar interpreted as stalking, causing an imminent threat or a reasonable expectation of an imminent threat of physical harm or death to a human, livestock, or domestic animals or harm to structures or other property to be killed by the landowner or their agent. Mountain lions not actively destroying property may be legally taken if a landowner first obtains a Nuisance Wildlife Control Permit.

Click here to learn more about action
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