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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Minnesota

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

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

  • The status of Puma concolor in Minnesota.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Minnesota.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Minnesota.

  • Cougar science and research in Minnesota.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Minnesota

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 Minnesota, 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 Minnesota.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Minnesota.

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 Minnesota, and moved between Minnesota 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 Minnesota.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Minnesota.

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

Click here to learn more about habitat

The science of lions in the state.

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

Click here to learn more about science

Take action for lions.

The Minnesota DNR lists mountain lions a species of special concern and recognizes their susceptibility to humans impacts. This protection prohibits their hunting. In fact, any individual found pouching has their current small game license revoked and is not allowed a new license for three years. While Minnesota currently lacks a Mountain Lion Management plan, the MNDNR recognizes “potential management considerations could include ones similar to those outlined for wolves in the Minnesota Wolf Management Plan.”

Click here to learn more about action
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