Nearly two thirds of the state is considered mountain lion habitat. The adaptable felines are able to survive in most of the juniper, mesic, aspen and conifer dominated forested regions of the higher mountains and plateaus.
Keep in mind that although lions are physically capable of living in certain places (based on geographical, vegetative and prey species characteristics), it does not mean they necessarily do. Fragmentation, sport hunting practices, and intolerant communities can wipe out lions from any area. For more data on habitat-usage, check out our Science tab.
The state of Arizona encompasses 113,635 square miles (294,313 km2) of land. The main portion of Arizona's best mountain lion habitat is distributed in a wide diagonal band stretching diagonally across the state.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has the authority for managing mountain lions over 72,157 square miles (186,885 km2) of mountain lion habitat covering almost 63 percent of the state. Additionally, an unknown amount of mountain lion habitat falls under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (4,200 sq mi. or 10,877 km2), or is located on tribal lands (29,500 sq. mi or 76,404 km2). Data on mountain lion population estimates, suitable habitat, and human-caused mountain lion mortalities for these 33,700 square miles is unavailable to MLF at this time.