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MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE STATE OF WYOMING

Urge Wyoming to decrease hunting quotas and allow the state's lion population to recover.

Despite being listed for 38 years as a game mammal, and decades of publicly funded research, the State of Wyoming refuses to openly announce a population estimate on the number of lions existing within its borders.

Some have opined that this policy stance is an effort to avoid having to justify an ever increasing hunting quota, and wildlife management decisions which enrich a few ranchers at the expense of the species.

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

  • The status of puma concolor in Wyoming.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Wyoming.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Wyoming.

  • Cougar science and research in Wyoming.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

SUMMARY: Mountian Lions in the State of Wyoming

For more detail you can explore using the links below.

The status of puma concolor.

Wyoming Game and Fish has been successfully reducing the state's mountain lion population numbers for the last several years. Despite strong data and recommendations from their own biologists to lower hunting quotas, the state has continued to increase hunter harvest.

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Mountain lion law in Wyoming.

In Wyoming's legal code Puma concolor is generally referred to as "mountain lion". The species is classified as a trophy game animal, along with black bears, grizzly bears, and eventually grey wolves once they have been removed from the list of experimental nonessential population.

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The history of lions in the state.

Similar to many of the other western states, habitat loss coupled with high hunting quotas puts mountain lion populations at risk. Most recently, mountain lions have been blamed for mule deer population declines, a position not borne out by science. In February 2016, mountain lions won a sizeable victory in the state when the Wyoming Game and Fish Department voted down a bill that would have allowed greater mountain lion hunting in an attempt to bolster mule deer numbers.

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Lion habitat in Wyoming.

Just under half of Wyoming is considered potential mountain lion habitat. Potential available habitat is patchily distributed throught the state, with larger areas in Yellowstone and Teton National Parks in the northwest corner.

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The science of lions in the state.

Always a work in progress, this page is a collection of all the cougar-related scientific publications and articles we have complied through the years. Research papers under strict copyright protection may only list their abstracts here. But if you would like a personal copy of the full paper to read, please contact MLF.

Click here to learn more about science

Take action for lions.

Despite strong data and recommendations from their own biologists to lower hunting quotas, the state has continued to increase hunter harvest. A recently proposed bill would have created new opportunities for hunters to kill large numbers of mountain lions in the name of increasing mule deer numbers.

Public pressure successfully convinced Game and Fish to defeat the bill and lower hunting limits in one game management unit. With watchfulness and added pressure perhaps we can keep similar bills from being passed and persuade the state to set lower limits in the rest of the state.

Click here to learn more about action

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

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