New Mexico path through Tent Rocks.
Photo of lion track in snow.


New Mexico still allows trapping on much of its public lands.

Mountain lion research in New Mexico has been largely focused on interactions with bighorn sheep and other prized game ungulates, in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. But most notably, Ken Logan and Linda Sweanor's extensive study from 10 years of monitoring lions in the San Andres Mountains created the foundation of modern cougar reseach in the U.S. and the 2001 book Desert Puma.

Always a work in progress, please contact us if we are missing work or new projects have started up.

  • Return to the portal page for New Mexico.

  • The status of Puma concolor in New Mexico.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in New Mexico.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in New Mexico.

  • Cougar science and research in New Mexico.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

New Mexico Lion Research

Agricultural Experimental Station, New Mexico State University

Click here to visit their research page. This project is a system of connected labs and scientists who work in 12 different departments at New Mexico State University. The Agricultural Experimental Station is the epicenter of all research done by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science. The research done at the Agriculture Experimental Station aims to protect and maintain natural resources for both wildlife and agriculture. The Agricultural Experimental Station works closely with farmers and ranchers, and citizens of New Mexico, to identify issues that require research. The Agricultural Experimental Station allows for communication among related departments and the public to stimulate collaboration and creative research.

Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Ecology, New Mexico State University

The Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Ecology was founded in 2008 with the goals to prepare graduates for employment in the field, work on innovative solutions to natural resource problems, and create public awareness for natural resource issues. Most of the research done by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology focuses on natural resource issues that plague the Southwestern United States. Gary W. Roemer, a professor in this department studies mammalogy and wildlife population dynamics in the Southwest, which has pertinent information to mountain lion research. James W. Cain III, wildlife and affiliate associate professor, also does research on mammals in the Southwest, specifically large mammals.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Click here to visit their research page. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is a state agency whose mission is to conserve and manage New Mexico's wildlife and fish sustainably for the public food supply, outdoor recreation and safety. The NMDGF works with wildlife biologists to come up with management plans for wildlife in order for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy New Mexican wildlife. They also oversee conservation officers who protect wildlife from poaching and illegal "take" and educate the public on conservation in New Mexico. On top of overseeing wildlife, the NMDGF oversee the stocking of millions of fish, including trout, catfish walleye and many others, in lakes and streams across the state.

U.S.F.W.S., Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge

Click here to visit their research page. The Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is a 23,000-acre refuge in New Mexico, which is one of the largest refuges in the lower 48 states. It is made up of 4 different biomes, which allows the refuge to protect a wide variety of vegetation and wildlife. The Sevilleta National Refuge is not managed for a specific species, instead natural processes, like fire and flood, are allowed to occur. It hosts the University of New Mexico's Long Term Ecological Research Program which was started in 1988. Every year about 100 research projects conducted on Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, because of the unique and diverse array of species.

U.S.F.W.S., San Andres National Wildlife Refuge

Click here to visit their research page. The San Andres National Wildlife Refuge is located in the San Andres Mountains right outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is located within the 2.2 million-acre White Sands Missile Range, so it is closed to public access. Although it is closed to the general public, the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge supports critical research on flora and fauna in the American Southwest. The San Andres National Wildlife Refuge provides the ideal habitat for New Mexico's bighorn sheep, which require a pristine environment with little human interaction. Only one desert bighorn sheep ewe resided in San Andres National Park in 1997, until in 1999 the park transplanted six more individuals, and today there is a herd 100 strong. Mountain lion predation on desert bighorn sheep and mountain lion responses to climate change are often researched at San Andres National Wildlife Refuge.

ON AIR: Phil Carter - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

03/19/13 An Audio Interview with Julie West, MLF Broadcaster

In this edition of our audio podcast ON AIR, MLF Volunteer Julie West interviews mountain lion program manager Phil Carter of Animal Protection of New Mexico. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will go to to disregard the public, bury scientific research, and ignore all common sense. Trying to protect mountain lions in New Mexico and incorporate the best science into management has turned into a game of one step forward, two steps back.