Photo of Monticello.
 
-->

MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF VIRGINIA

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Virginia

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

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

  • The status of Puma concolor in Virginia.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Virginia.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Virginia.

  • Cougar science and research in Virginia.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Cougars in the State of Virginia

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 Virginia, 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 Virginia.

Click here to learn more about status

Mountain lion law in Virginia.

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 Virginia, and moved between Virginia 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 Virginia.

Click here to learn more about history

Lion habitat in Virginia.

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

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 Virginia, 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 Virginia.

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.

The hills and forests of Virginia were once home to a thriving mountain lion population. But heavy persecution from humans drove the population locally extinct over a hundred years ago. Currently, Virginia classifies mountain lions as an endangered species. As a result, hunting mountain lions is prohibited. Additionally, Virginia law protects animals designated as endangered or threatened from being treated as a nuisance species. These protections may help individuals reestablish a population within the state once again. Help support potential habitat preservation and connectivity between patches so that we can restore a healthy and intact ecosystem complete with cougars.

Click here to learn more about action
.

ABOUT OUR PEOPLE & HISTORY: