Photo of ~insert photo description~.
Photo of ~insert photo description~.


Make the first and most dominant voice toward Tennessee lions a positive one!

Overhunting and loss of habitat extirpated mountain lions from Tennessee in the early 1900’s. That makes the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) confirmed presence of a mountain lion within the state in late 2015 extremely exciting. However, to prevent the overreaction of concerned residents and a possible repeat of history, it is important state and local authorities have conservation measures in place and that the public is well educated on the importance of mountain lions in the local ecosystem. Below are some actions you can take as a local volunteer to help ensure Tennessee lions receive the respect and protection they deserve.

  • Return to the portal page for Tennessee.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Tennessee.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Tennessee.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Tennessee.

  • Cougar science and research in Tennessee.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Here's what you can do:

Immediate Steps:

  1. Build a coalition to learn from and educate people on how to peacefully coexist with the mountain lion population.
  2. Contribute a positive voice. Write a letter to your local newspaper expressing your excitement about local mountain lions and your views on the importance of protecting them.
  3. Distribute educational information on how residents can protect their pets and livestock. Consider animal shelters, veterinary clinics, 4H clubs, Scouting organizations, FFA, shooting clubs, and any other pertinent public locations as potential outlets.
  4. Email and suggest local officials friendly to mountain lion conservation in Tennessee.

Interim Steps:

  1. Become familiar with Tennessee hunting and wildlife policies. Reach out to MLF and wildlife experts. Then attend relevant town, commission and council meetings and ask them to:
    1. Develop a Mountain Lion Management Plan that will protect mountain lion habitat and prevent any intentional killings that are not to eliminate an immediate threat to human life.
  2. Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions in Arizona? Write to them:
    1. Urging legislation to prohibit lion hunting
    2. Asking them to review Tenn. Code Ann. § 70-8-106 (e) to require non-lethal steps be taken to remove or deter mountain lions from damaging property before considering lethal action.
    3. Asking for revision of Tenn. Code Ann. § 70-8-108 to increase penalties for the illegal taking or trapping of mountain lions to a degree large enough to deter even the consideration of such an act.

Long term Steps:

  1. Request to meet with your state legislators about revising Tenn. Code Ann. § 70-8-108 to increase penalties for the illegal taking or trapping of mountain lions to a degree large enough to deter even the consideration of such an act.

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 Tennessee. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the Tennessee 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 Tennessee and incorporate the best science into management has turned into a game of one step forward, two steps back.

Click here to view our Activist Guide...

Becoming a Mountain Lion Activist

There are lots of opportunities to take action!

Are you new to mountain lion activism? You want to change your local environment to improve it for cougars... but you don't know how to start. You may feel like you are all alone... but it takes just one person to change the attitudes and lifestyles of hundreds of others. You don't need to belong to a group. It doesn't take special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about cougars to want to help them survive. You've already done the hard part, now let us help you with the next step.

Click here to open a new window and visit the agency's website...

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Commonly abbreviated as: TWRA

Ed Carter, Executive Director

TWRA Central Office
440 Hogan Rd.
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6552

Please write to the director and express your concern for lions in TN.

Thank the agency when they take steps to protect our state's cougars. When they fall short of expectations, politely ask for policy reform and more officer training.