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MOUNTAIN LION HABITAT IN NORTH CAROLINA

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in North Carolina.

Though mountain lions once roamed the hills and forests of North Carolina, persecution at the hands of humans drove them locally extinct. If we support open space conservation and preserve corridors connecting potential habitat, we could reverse this situation and bring mountain lions back home to North Carolina.

Although mountain lions may be physically capable of living in an area, human activities and attitudes could keep them from reestablishing a population there. Fragmentation, sport hunting practices, and intolerant communities can wipe out mountain lions from any area. For more data on
                  habitat use, check out our various Science tabs.

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

  • The status of Puma concolor in North Carolina.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in North Carolina.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in North Carolina.

  • Cougar science and research in North Carolina.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

North Carolina Lion Habitat and Population

Before European settlement, mountain lions roamed throughout North Carolina and beyond. Perceived conflict with livestock, heavy hunting pressure, conversion of wildlands to agriculture and other forms of habitat loss drove the mountain lions of North Carolina to local extinction.

North Carolina Cougar Habitat
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Click on map to enlarge.

There hasn't been much, if any, research specifically addressing potential habitat for mountain lions in the state, but there has been work looking at the importance of potential dispersal corridors across the U.S. A study by Michelle LaRue (2007) estimates that there are 128,608 square kilometers of highly suitable habitat across the Midwest. Additional habitat certainly exists throughout the South and East Coast as well. A viable population in North Carolina would help provide potential dispersing individuals to help repopulate neighboring states where mountain lions once thrived.


Establishing mountain lion-friendly legislation and management practices will likely need to play a role in allowing this top carnivore to return to the great state of North Carolina. Check out our Action Tab to see what you can do to help!


Click here to open a new window and visit the agency's website...

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Commonly abbreviated as: NCWRC

Gordon Myers, Executive Director


1751 Varsity Dr,
Raleigh, NC 27606
gordon.myers@ncwildlife.org
919-707-0151


Wildlife Management Division Chief
David Cobb
wrccomments@ncwildlife.org
919-707-0050


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

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.
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