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Safeguard a future for mountain lions in Alaska

Along with all other wild bird, reptile, and mammal species in Alaska, mountain lions are classified as game. However, mountain lions may not be hunted nor trapped for fur. Alaska’s endangered species law says that the state may provide protection to any animal whose numbers may be in decline such that its continued existence is threatened.” While this could apply to mountain lions, Alaska’s endangered species list does not list them.

In fact, mountain lions are rarely mentioned in any state law or regulation. The state has no law addressing ountain lion depredations or poaching.

  • Return to the portal page for Alaska.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Alaska.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Alaska.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Alaska.

  • Cougar science and research in Alaska.

  • 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 Alaska.

Interim Steps:

  1. Become familiar with Alaska Department of Fish and Game policies toward mountain lions. Reach out to MLF and wildlife experts. Then attend public meetings with the Alaska Board of Game and ask them to:
    1. Develop a Mountain Lion Management Plan that will protect mountain lions and their habitat
    2. Offer information and training for landowners on non-consumptive techniques for dealing with potential depredation issues.
    3. Reclassify mountain lions as a non-game species
    4. Petition for severe mountain lion poaching penalties.
  2. Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions? Write to them:
    1. Implore them to begin an effort to establish depredation regulations that require the exhaustive use non-lethal strategies.
    2. Urge them to develop anti-poaching regulations with penalties severe enough to deter any individuals desire to illegally take a mountain lion.
    3. Propose a government-funded compensation program for domestic animals lost to mountain lions that compensates the owner with resources to protects their remaining assets from mountain lions.

Long term Steps:

  1. Develop, circulate and submit a petition to the ADFG requesting to add mountain lions to Alaska’s list of endangered species.
  2. Request to meet with your state legislators to talk about
    1. giving mountain lions legal protection within the state
    2. developing a liability initiative to incentivize or require owners to take certain measures to protect pets and livestock from mountain lions.

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 Alaska. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the Alaska 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 Alaska 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...

Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Commonly abbreviated as: ADFG

Bruce Dale, Director

Main Office:
PO Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811
(907) 861-2101

Chief Wildlife Scientist
Kim Titus
(907) 465-6167

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

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.