Photo of Arkansas countryside.
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Help ensure a future for mountain lions in Arkansas

Mountain Lions in Arkansas are classified as nongame wildlife and may not be hunted. While Arkansas endangered species laws are designed to preserve nongame species, mountain lions are not currently listed as such.

Poaching laws in Arkansas provide some legal protection for mountain lions, but the state does not have a law or regulation that defines a penalty for killing a nongame animal. Therefore, the penalty for illegally taking a mountain lion depends on whether the court opts to treat the lion as big or small game. The most severe penalty arises from the court treating the poached lion as big game.

  • Return to the portal page for Arkansas.

  • The status of Puma concolor in Arkansas.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Arkansas.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Arkansas.

  • Cougar science and research in Arkansas.

  • 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 Arizona.

Interim Steps:

  1. Become familiar with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission policies toward mountain lions. Reach out to MLF and wildlife experts. Then attend public meetings with the AGFC and ask them to:
    1. Develop a Mountain Lion Management Plan that will protect mountain lions and their habitat
    2. Encourage non-consumptive practices for landowners concerned with depredation issues.
    3. Petition for higher penalties for mountain lion poaching.
  2. Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions? Write to them:
    1. Urge them to require records, including date, time and location, of mountain lions killed on roads.
    2. 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 AGFC requesting to add mountain lions to the Arkansas list of endangered species.
  2. Request to meet with your state legislators to talk about
    1. developing a liability initiative to incentivize or require owners to take certain measures to protect pets and livestock from mountain lions.
    2. Establishing a policy that explicitly defines penalties for the killing of nongame animals.

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 Arkansas. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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...

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Commonly abbreviated as: AGFC

Jeff Crow, Director

Main Office:
2 Natural Resources Dr.
Little Rock, AR 72205

Large Carnivore Program Coordinator
Myron Means

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

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.