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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF MAINE

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Maine

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

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

  • The status of Puma concolor in Maine.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Maine.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Maine.

  • Cougar science and research in Maine.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Maine

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 Maine, 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 Maine.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Maine.

Here 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 Maine, and moved between Maine 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 Maine.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Maine.

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

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.

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

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 are currently locally extinct in Maine and receive no legal protection. In fact, they are barely mentioned in state regulations.

Despite a thriving historic population within the state and a population (or lack thereof) that reflects the need for protection, mountain lions are currently not listed as threatened or endangered by the State of Maine. Quite the contrary, in fact. Maine has no management or reintroduction plan, and mountain lion hunting is completely unregulated within the state. Due to their lack of legal status as wildlife in Maine, lions may be killed without repercussion or penalty.

Click here to learn more about action
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