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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Rhode Island

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

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

  • The status of Puma concolor in Rhode Island.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Rhode Island.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Rhode Island.

  • Cougar science and research in Rhode Island.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Rhode Island

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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Rhode Island.

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 Rhode Island, and moved between Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Rhode Island.

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

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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island.

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.

Rhode Island classifies mountain lions as a nongame species. Due to the absence of a state endangered and threatened species list, mountain lions are not recognized as such.

Further, state law does not prohibit trapping or hunting mountain lions. Depredating wildlife may be dealt with by the state's Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialists in any way they see fit. Although, considering poaching regulations do not apply to non-game species, it is likely landowners may decide to act on their own.

Click here to learn more about action
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