On the Trail with Photographer Roy Toft: The Art of Photographing Pumas and Other Wildcats

On the Trail with Photographer Roy Toft: The Art of Photographing Pumas and Other Wildcats

Credit: Roy Toft

Wildlife photographer Roy Toft  discusses the art of photographing pumas and other wildcats with Mountain Lion Foundation’s own Jessica Janson.

From exotic locations all over the globe we explore photographer Roy Toft’s world of pumas and other wildcats through the lens of his camera. Join us and be part of the adventure!

About Roy Toft:

Roy started working as a full-time wildlife photographer in 1991. Spending 6-9 months in the field every year producing natural history content for magazines, books, etc. Around 2000, Roy started leading photo safaris around the world to photography enthusiasts as well as continuing his assignment and stock work. In 2005, Roy became a founding fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers. This elite group of top professionals combine their talents to further conservation causes around the globe. Roy’s images have been published widely in popular magazines like National Geographic, Discover, Smithsonian, Audubon, etc. His coffee table book “Osa…where the Rainforest meets the Sea” is a wonderful tribute to an area in Costa Rica where Roy owned property and has been visiting for over 30 years. Roy makes his home in the beautiful boulders of Ramona with his wife Stella.

Credit: Roy Toft

Mountain Lions in an Era of Rapid Climate and Land-use Change

Mountain Lions in an Era of Rapid Climate and Land-use Change

The mountain lion is a widely distributed carnivore, found in tropical and temperate latitudes throughout the western hemisphere. Its habitat requirements are highly generalized, being largely defined by the presence of ungulate prey and stalking cover. The species has demonstrated incredible tenacity in the face of anthropogenic pressures during the past century. Nevertheless, western landscapes are undergoing rapid changes stemming from human population growth, land-use, and climate desiccation, raising questions about the persistence of this iconic species. Dr. David Stoner explores the relationship between mountain lions and the ecological communities that support them in an era of climate change. Dr. Stoner argues that as an obligate carnivore, mountain lions should follow the changes in the distribution of their primary herbivore prey along gradients of habitat connectivity and land-use. However, drying of western ecosystems will make human subsidized landscapes increasingly important to both mountain lions and their prey, with commensurate increases in the potential for human-wildlife conflict.

About Dr. David Stoner

Dr. David Stoner is a Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer in the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. He is a graduate of the University of California and Utah State University. Over the past 25 years he has worked with state wildlife agencies in California, Utah, and Nevada on scientific investigations of mountain lions and their major prey species. He is currently focused on interactions between mule deer, mountain lions, and wild horses in the southern Great Basin.

Mountain Lion Foundation – WCN Fall Expo

The Mountain Lion Foundation is the only group working throughout the United States solely to Save America’s Lion. We work with policymakers, livestock owners, and concerned community members to develop scientific approaches to mountain lion management that protect public safety and sustain mountain lions and the ecosystems that depend on them.

Among our current efforts:

·         Through our network of concerned Utahns, petitioning the Utah Wildlife Board and its Regional Advisory Councils to adopt cougar hunt regulations that will ensure healthy mountain lion populations and protect mothers as they nurse and teach their young. Since mountain lions regulate their own population density, hunting is not necessary as a management tool, and cougar hunting can disrupt populations and make conflict with humans more likely.

·         Suing to stop a rogue sheriff in Washington from using hound packs to pursue every cougar seen in the county. Washington has banned hound hunts since the ‘90s (and a statewide initiative supported by MLF), but the sheriff is attempting to create loopholes and evade other state wildlife laws. While many wildlife managers have abandoned the ideology of slaughtering carnivores, that attitude remains common in much of the Western US. MLF uses education and legal pressure to change minds and practices.

·         Working with ranchers and hobby farmers throughout the mountain lion range to protect livestock without endangering the lives of mountain lions. Building relationships one-on-one helps spread the message that coexistence with mountain lions is possible, and ultimately cheaper and better for humans and wildlife. MLF staff and our volunteer network meet with small groups, neighborhood by neighborhood, to teach people how to keep their households and livestock safe in cougar country.

·         Developing a network of trail cameras and wildlife spotters to share the joy of sighting these elusive and beautiful creatures in the wild spaces around us.

To learn more about MLF’s work on conservation of these inspiring big cats, sign up below. We’ll be in touch with other ways you can support mountain lion conservation in your neck of the woods.

To order a 2022 Mountain Lion Foundation Calendar click here.


Exploring the Dark Side of the Wildcat Trade: A Conversation with Tim Harrison

Exploring the Dark Side of the Wildcat Trade: A Conversation with Tim Harrison

Join us as Tim Harrison, author, Director of “Outreach For Animals“, and star of two award-winning documentaries, discusses how he protects the public while advocating for a better life for exotic animals. He is joined with Mountain Lion Foundation’s own Jessica Janson.

About Tim Harrison:

Tim Harrison is a retired police officer, firefighter and paramedic for Oakwood, Ohio. Tim’s dedication to protecting the public crossed paths with the world of animal advocacy in October 2011 when Terry Thompson released 50 of the world’s most exotic animals on his hometown in Zanesville, Ohio and then took his own life. Thus began Tim’s crusade to educate and protect the public, while advocating for a better life for exotic animals.

Tim is the director of Outreach For Animals, a non-profit 501c(3) organization founded in 2001 by a group of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics whose mission is to educate young people to respect wildlife and its natural habitat. Over the years, their message has reached millions of people through all forms of media and outreach programs. The organization is committed to being the goodwill ambassador and liaison between humans and animals.

Tim is the star of two award-winning documentaries, The Elephant in the Living Room, which shines a light on the world of private exotic animal ownership, including the plight of several backyard lions, and The Conservation Game. The Conservation Game is set against the backdrop of a heated national debate on captive big cats in America, and follows Tim, who makes a bombshell discovery while undercover at an exotic animal auction.

Tim is also the author of three books including his newest, White Magic: The Curse of The White Tiger, which takes an in depth look at the myth surrounding the white tiger and an exploitative trade that endangers all wildcats.

Tim has rescued, relocated and advocated for exotic animals in the United States for over 47 years.

View information about The Conservation Game

End Federal Subsidies for States’ War on Carnivores, Move to Disqualify States from Federal Aid for Excessive Killing

For Immediate Release: Monday, September 27, 2021


Debra Chase, CEO, Mountain Lion Foundation
916-442-2666 ext. 103

End Federal Subsidies for States’ War on Carnivores

Move to Disqualify States from Federal Aid for Excessive Killing


Sacramento, CA —State game agencies could lose a substantial portion of their budgets for eradicating populations of mountain lions and other carnivores under a proposal put forward by the a coalition including the Global Indigenous Council (GIC), Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the Center for Biological Diversity, Mountain Lion Foundation, and a coalition of 25 Native American, conservation, and animal welfare organizations. The plan would deny federal wildlife management funding to states that excessively target wolves, cougars, bears, and other carnivores.

“In the midst of the sixth great extinction, we can no longer shut our eyes or run away from the problems our natural world is experiencing,” says Debra Chase, CEO of the Mountain Lion Foundation. “We need decisive action now to modernize the Pittman-Robertson Act and state agencies’ handling of mountain lions and other carnivores. It’s unethical and immoral for states to profit from the exploitation and extinction of our wildlife. If Secretary Haaland acts on our petition, this new rule will hold states accountable to the public they serve and the wildlife they are committed to protect when they ignore sound science and seek to profit by inflating population count and undercounting killings of our carnivores.”

Since the removal of federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves, states across the country have expanded controversial carnivore control programs that have long also been used against mountain lions, including trophy hunting, hunting contests, and trapping, without regard for maintaining sustainable populations or the integrity of ecosystems.

The coalition’s rule-making petition calls on Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland to adopt regulations making states ineligible to receive grants under the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration Acts if they allow hunting and trapping at levels that compromise healthy populations of wildlife, including carnivores. That condition is currently required under law but without an enforcement mechanism – a hole this petition would fill.

Under this proposal, Secretary Haaland, following public comment, would decide if a state applying for a federal grant is pursuing wildlife management practices inconsistent with the national goal of naturally diverse wildlife populations and healthy predator-prey dynamics.

This federal aid constitutes a significant portion of state game agency budgets across the country.  This year, approximately $1 billion in federal aid was funneled to state game agency coffers.

The petition is a reaction to recent actions in states such as Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wisconsin to, in essence, declare open season on wolves. In addition, the petition targets practices such as use of dogs to hunt mountain lions and bears, baiting and snaring of bears, “judas” wolf collaring, shooting bears, wolves, and their young in dens, aerial spotting for land-and-shoot removals, and nighttime hunting with artificial lights.

Groups sponsoring the petition are: GIC, PEER, and the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the US, The Native Conservancy, The 06 Legacy, Alaskans for Wildlife, Attorneys for Animals, Footloose Montana, Friends of the Clearwater, Global International Council, United Tribes, Mountain Lion Foundation, National Wolfwatcher Coalition, Oasis Earth, Predator Defense, Project Coyote, Project Eleven Hundred, Protect Our Wildlife, Sierra Club-Toiyabe Chapter, Southwest Environmental Center, The Endangered Species Coalition, The International Wildlife Coexistence Network,  The Rewilding Institute, Washington Wildlife First, Western Wildlife Outreach, Wildearth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, and Professor Adrian Treves of the University of Wisconsin.


Read the rule-making petition

Sign on to the letter of public support

Note $1 billion federal aid contribution this year to state game agencies

Look at state-by-state breakdown of federal aid to game agencies

Founded in 1986, the Mountain Lion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure that America’s lion survives and flourishes in the wild.


Statements from Leaders of Signatory Groups

The 06 Legacy, karol@the06legacy.com

“For too long, states in the Northern Rockies have directed dollars meant for conservation to the slaughter of America’s iconic predators. This rule will give us a chance to end the misuse of Pittman-Robertson dollars.” – Karol Miller, President, The 06 Legacy

Attorneys for Animals, beefriedlander@yahoo.com

“When states try to unleash trappers and hunters on wolves, this rule will enable us to raise our concerns in Washington and pressure authorities to change course.” – Bee Friedlander, J.D., President, Attorneys for Animals

Center for Biological Diversity, cadkins@biologocaldiersity.org

“Federal officials must stop ignoring the use of conservation funding by anti-wolf states to slaughter ecologically important carnivores. Federal wildlife management funds should only be given to states that can be trusted to conserve their wildlife for all Americans.” – Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation program director at the Center for Biological Diversity.


Endangered Species Coalition, tthorton@endangered.com

“Anti-wolf hysteria driven by special interests is threatening gray wolves like never before. This rule will give us a powerful tool to fight back by airing our concerns before states receive their Pittman-Robertson wildlife funding.” – Tara Thornton, Deputy Director, Endangered Species Coalition

Footloose Montana, loxodonta66@gmail.com

“Alarmingly, wildlife management in western states is moving toward colonial-era violence. Profiteers driving the commercialization and privatization of wildlife are outfitters, commercial trappers, trophy hunters and landowners including governors, legislators and fish and wildlife agencies. In this new world of wildlife management, bounties are paid to hunters and trappers by private organizations for each wolf killed, trophy hunters pay enormous sums to kill a wolf, a bear, an elk– the Safari Club International-style–absent any ethics and without concern for the impact on species, the torture by snares and traps or the health of ecosystems.” – Anja Heister, PhD, co-founder and board member of Footloose Montana, a Missoula-based nonprofit organization promoting trap-free public lands for people, pets and wildlife.

Heister adds, “The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which has been a protective shield for ‘sportsmen,’ has shown to be impotent in preventing extremists among them–thrill killers and predator haters–from hijacking state wildlife management, while cutting out the public from decision-making on wild animals.”

Global Indigenous Council, (703) 980-4595

“These wolf extermination bills passed and signed into law by rightwing extremists at the state level demonstrate that they are not only hunting democracy to extinction, they are also conflating Euro-Medieval sadism with so-called wildlife management to the same ends with wolves.” – Rain, Executive Director of the GIC and acclaimed film director.

Oasis Earth, richard.steiner@gmail.com

“Apex predators are vital to the health of ecosystems across America. This proposed rule will require the Interior Secretary to ensure that all state wildlife agencies receiving federal Pittman Robertson wildlife restoration funds fully protect these species.” – Rick Steiner, Director, Oasis Earth

Predator Defense, brooks@predatordefense.org

“States have been steadily pushing gray wolves back towards extinction since delisting in 2011,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense. “With this rule we can keep the federal government from helping states kill wolves with funds specifically meant to help wildlife.”

Project Coyote, mlute@projectcoyote.org

“States have consistently demonstrated that they are beholden to a client service model catering to a declining demographic that focuses on consumptive uses over all other values for wildlife. In the face of climate and biodiversity crises, state wildlife policy needs to align with evidence-based conservation goals and broader public values. These excellent amendments to the Pittman-Robertson Act are a momentous step in the right direction.” – Michelle L. Lute, PhD, National Carnivore Conservation Manager, Project Coyote

Project Eleven Hundred, maryobrien10@gmail.com

“The work of state public land managers has implications for all wildlife — including pollinators. This rule will help ensure that funding decisions are based on science and consider direct and indirect consequences for diverse species.” – Mary O’Brien, PhD, Executive Director, Project Eleven Hundred

Protect Our Wildlife, info@protectourwildlifevt.org

“These regulations will ensure that Vermont’s leaders are held accountable for allowing trappers to maim and kill wildlife with weapons that have been banned elsewhere. Protect Our Wildlife urges Secretary Haaland to adopt the proposed rule.” – Brenna Galdenzi, President, Protect Our Wildlife

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, jruch@peer.org

“A healthy predator-prey relationship is necessary for healthy wildlife populations as a whole. No state, including Alaska, should receive millions of dollars in federal wildlife restoration aid each year, while they continue ecologically destructive efforts to severely reduce or eliminate populations of wolves, bears, coyotes, and mountain lions.” – Rick Steiner, a PEER Board member, conservation specialist, and retired University of Alaska professor.

Sierra Club, Toiyabe Chapter, brian.beffort@sierraclub.org

“Predators are integral parts of healthy ecosystems. Nevada and the Eastern Sierra need science-based, participatory wildlife management to maintain predators’ essential roles. This rule will help us secure that management.” – Brian Beffort, Director, Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter

Southwest Environmental Center, kevin@wildmesquite.org

“The taxpayer-funded, state-sanctioned slaughter of predators must end. Under this rule, states will have to consider science and the voices of the vast majority of the public who oppose killing wolves – or risk losing their Pittman-Robertson dollars.” – Kevin Bixby, Executive Director, Southwest Environmental Center

Western Watersheds Project, emolvar@westernwatersheds.org

“The Biodiversity Crisis is one of the main problems facing our planet, and our own species, yet there are state agencies and legislatures that are pursuing anti-wildlife policies that are making it worse,” said Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist and Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. “If states are going to participate in wildlife-killing programs or push extinction agendas for species like wolves and prairie dogs that they find economically inconvenient, then they should absolutely be denied federal funding.”

Western Wildlife Outreach, lynn@westernwildlife.org

“Western Wildlife Outreach supports the GIC and PEER Petition for Rulemaking. Rulemaking will ensure states receiving Pittman Robertson Wildlife Restoration funds are determined to be eligible through a review of their wildlife management practices and consideration of input from public stakeholders. Responsible state stewardship of wildlife, particularly predators, must be evident.” – Lynn Okita, Board Chair, Western Wildlife Outreach

Wildearth Guardians, llarris@wildearthguardians.org

Pittman-Robertson dollars are intended to support wildlife and the ecosystems they call home. The state-led war on carnivores is the antithesis of conservation and should not be fueled by funds earmarked for wildlife preservation. – Lindsay Larris, Wildlife Program Director, WildEarth Guardians

Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, kristin@wyomingwildlifeadvocates.org

“Wyoming continues to allow for the killing of nearly half of their wolves each year and only manages for the minimum number of the species, not for healthy or biodiverse ecosystems. For the state to continue to receive federal grants, they need to think more holistically about large carnivore management. One hundred and sixty wolves for 97,000 square miles is not a sustainable population.” – Kristin Combs, Executive Director, Wyoming Wildlife Advocates

Independent Scientist

The global scientific community long ago reached consensus that competing interests hold back the progress of science because special interests pay for research that burnishes their images not for better approximations of reality. To reform the current U.S. system of financing most wildlife research, we should create a firewall between special interests in wildlife, such as the hunting industry, and the funding of wildlife research. That task begins with reform of PR funding mechanisms.” – Prof. Adrian Treves, PhD, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison, atreves@wisc.edu

CANCELLED: Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return: A Conversation with Author Valerie Vierk

Event Cancelled:
Mountain Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return: A Conversation with Author Valerie Vierk

October 14, 2021 @ 1:00PM — 2:30PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) includes limited live Q&A afterwards.

Unfortunately, due to poor weather and technological issues, this event has been cancelled. We will send out details on rescheduling or alternate options soon.

Join us for a conversation with author Valerie Vierk as she discusses her book – “Mountain Lions in Nebraska – The Golden Ghosts Return” with the Mountain Lion Foundation’s own Jessica Janson.

About Valerie Vierk:
Valerie Vierk is an author who writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. A writer since her earliest years, in 2005 she published her first book, Gold Stars and Purple Hearts—the War Dead of the Ravenna Area.

Valerie’s sixth book, Mountain Lions in Nebraska—The Golden Ghosts Return, covers a brief history of mountain lions during the colonial times of the United States. It then weaves a tale of the lion in Nebraska during the early 1900s, moving into the “modern era” and the first documented killing of a cougar in the northwestern part of the state. The book tells the history of the often contentious issue of the big golden cats returning to their former homes in the Midwest after an absence of over a hundred years. Mountain Lions In Nebraska also gives brief histories of Nebraska’s neighboring states that allow trophy hunting of mountain lions–South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming. The book is richly illustrated with 90 photos, many taken by the author, plus political cartoons, maps, and charts.

Valerie’s fascination with mountain lions started in childhood. She believes it was prompted by her mother reading her and her brother Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. In this book, Pa Ingalls tells of a “black panther” chasing him and his horse through the woods. Garth Williams provided two sketches on the black panther and years later, upon looking at the book again, realized that was probably where her fascination for cougars began.

Additionally, Valerie is a life-long nature lover. She credits her late mother, Virginia, with introducing her to nature at a young age. Since 1974, Valerie has maintained a large bluebird trail to help the eastern bluebirds that are in need of housing since natural nesting sites are in short supply. In 2021, Valerie has a 140 box bluebird trail.

In 2012 she founded a non-profit titled “Holly Jean’s Hope Cat Spaying” to help the unowned cats of her little town of Ravenna, population 1,340. Years later this organization now feeds many cats each day in three locations.

Purchase Valerie’s book here:
Mountain Lions in Nebraska: The Golden Ghosts Return

Mountain lion shot and killed in Tucson, Arizona

Last Friday, a young male mountain lion was shot by a resident of Tucson, Arizona. The man found his dogs barking at the lion in his backyard, and claims that it charged him. Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) officials determined this to be a legal act of self-defense. They found the mountain lion, still alive, approximately a mile away from the scene. Officials decided to euthanize the young lion due to the severity of his injuries.

Tucson residents are well-accustomed to the presence of mountain lions in the area, with sightings documented as recently as just a few weeks prior. Under agency policy, mountain lions found to be a potential threat to human safety, such as due to behavior or location, are to be killed.

Beloved Beasts: a Conversation with Author Michelle Nijhuis

Beloved Beasts: a Conversation with Author Michelle Nijhuis

In the late nineteenth century, humans came at long last to a devastating realization: their rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving scores of animal species to extinction. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the history of the movement to protect and conserve other forms of life. From early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale, Nijhuis’s “spirited and engaging” account documents “the changes of heart that changed history” (Dan Cryer, Boston Globe).

As the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change wreak havoc on our world, Beloved Beasts charts the ways conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species, including our own.

About Michelle Nijhuis:

Michelle Nijhuis is the author of the new book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction. She is a project editor for The Atlantic and a longtime contributing editor for High Country News, and her reporting has appeared in publications including National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine. After 15 years off the electrical grid in rural Colorado, she and her family now live in southwestern Washington state.

Mountain lion incident near Calabasas, California

At the end of August, a young mountain lion was killed after attacking a child in a yard near Calabasas, CA. The child’s mother responded well, quickly driving away the mountain lion and bringing in police and officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who tracked and killed the cub.

In a horrific and tragic situation, mixed with our grief for the injured child and the community’s fear, we’re grateful that events resolved almost as well as they could have. The child is reportedly recovering well. After finding and killing the attacking lion, officers continued searching and located its mother and a sibling. Thanks to the careful and responsible approach of law enforcement, those mountain lions were captured unharmed. When no evidence was found that they had harmed a person, they were set free at a location farther from people.

This is the first mountain lion attack on person in Los Angeles County since 1995. With an endangered population of around 5-10 mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains, there’s no doubt that they often come close to people. Each moves through a territory of 50 square miles, usually without anyone knowing they were in the presence of this wide-ranging and secretive neighbor. The lion killed in this case was young, still learning how to behave, and suffered the ultimate consequence for its unfortunate choice. Its sibling and mother had already learned to avoid people, and thanks to the careful work by state and federal wildlife officials, they are free to continue living as mountain lions should.

As more Californians move closer to nature, people and cougars will cross paths more often. Mountain lions have always been in our yards, but doorbell cameras, security systems, and trail cameras are revealing how often mountain lions cruise through our neighborhoods. Discovering our mountain lion neighbors shouldn’t be cause for fear. Their presence is a reminder that our homes are built where mountain lions and their kin have roamed for millions of years, and one sign of the health of the wilderness we see out our windows.

After centuries of treating carnivores as enemies to be killed on sight — the policy and attitude that left our state bereft of the bears that grace our flag — wild places are recovering. While some mountain lion populations are under consideration for state endangered species listing, other populations in the state are recovering from the indiscriminate slaughter of an earlier era. Maintaining healthy populations of mountain lions benefits us all. Healthy forests need carnivores, and healthy forests are more resilient to wildfires and the effects of climate change. Carnivores keep diseased deer and elk from infecting their herds, protecting the health of their prey. And since deer fearful of mountain lions avoid venturing too far into the open, mountain lions help protect our orchards, farms, and gardens.

All of this may be cold comfort to a family and a community recovering from last month’s shocking events. Some may even question the wisdom of coexisting with mountain lions, while others will ask how we can better protect our families.

In part, we can take comfort in knowing that mountain lions far prefer their wild prey — mostly deer, but also rabbits, squirrels, feral pigs, raccoons, and coyotes. With thousands of mountain lions in California, we know of only 20 attacks on humans in the last 35 years. More Californians have been killed by lightning strikes in the same time period. Most risky interactions with humans, including last month’s, happen when a younger lion mistakes a human for the food they want. Older mountain lions generally avoid people, our pets, and livestock. Research in California and elsewhere shows that hunting mountain lions, for recreation or in retaliation for threats to people or livestock, tends to make future conflicts more likely, by removing experienced older lions and leaving room for callow and riskier youngsters.

We can and do co-exist with mountain lions, as humans have in California since time immemorial. The alternative to this coexistence, and the risks it brings with it, is a return to the archaic policy of bounty hunting and wanton slaughter. Those disastrous policies wiped out mountain lion populations everywhere east of the Mississippi except Florida. In a handful of rural counties in the West, adherents to the fringe philosophies made famous by the violent takeover of Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon are attempting to resurrect those dangerous and discredited approaches. But elsewhere in mountain lions’ range, from the tip of Patagonia to the Yukon, people and mountain lions are finding better ways to live together.

There is still much we can do to protect mountain lions. Thousands are killed by hunters across the West each year. Many more are killed by livestock owners who wrongly believe those deaths will prevent further conflict. Many mountain lions, including the Santa Monica Mountain population, cut off by highways from neighboring populations, and as a result face the danger of inbreeding. As houses and roads encroach on the mountain lions’ lands, and climate change and wildfire disrupt the remaining wilderness, they are left with less room to pursue their wild prey and raise their cubs far from humans. Outside of Florida, the species lacks legal protections, but this could change soon in California. The state is considering listing some of the species’ populations as endangered or threatened, a crucial step to ensure their safety now and in the future.


Josh Rosenau is a biologist and Conservation Advocate for the Mountain Lion Foundation.