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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in North Carolina

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

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

  • The status of Puma concolor in North Carolina.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in North Carolina.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in North Carolina.

  • Cougar science and research in North Carolina.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of North Carolina

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 North Carolina, 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 North Carolina.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in North Carolina.

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 North Carolina, and moved between North Carolina 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 North Carolina.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in North Carolina.

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

Click here to learn more about habitat

The science of lions in the state.

Though mountain lions once roamed the great state of North Carolina, 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 North Carolina.

Click here to learn more about science

Take action for lions.

North Carolina lost its once robust mountain lion population over one hundred years ago. Human activities, such as overhunting eliminated this mighty predator from within the state. While cougars meet the state’s listing requirements, they are not included as an endangered or threatened species. Help convince North Carolina legislators to follow through with the standards it sets and list mountain lions as an endangered species. This protection could help dispersing individuals reestablish a population within the state.

Click here to learn more about action
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