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Push North Carolina to live up to the standards the state has itself set and list cougars as endangered.

In the box below you will find all the governing state statutes, mountain lion legal status, state laws, information about the state legislature, initiative and referendum processes, and the state wildlife agency, mountain lion management plans, mountain lion hunting laws, depredation laws, and other regulations as appropriate.

  • 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 Cougar Laws and Regulations

Generally, treatment of wildlife in the State of North Carolina is governed by the North Carolina General Statutes – the state’s collection of all its current laws. Since our summary below may not be completely up to date, you should be sure to review the most current law for the State of North Carolina.

You can check the statutes directly at a state-managed website
These statutes are searchable. Be sure to use the name “cougar” to accomplish your searches.


North Carolina’s wildlife regulations can be found in Chapter 10 - Wildlife Resources and Water Safety of Title 15A - Environment and Natural Resources in the North Carolina Administrative Code – the state’s collection of all its agencies’ regulations. The chapter’s regulations are written by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

The Legislature

The North Carolina General Assembly is the state’s bicameral legislature. The lower chamber – the House of Representatives – is made up of 120 members who serve 2-year terms. The upper chamber – the Senate – consists of 50 members who also serve 2-year terms. The legislature maintains this webpage to help you contact your state and federal legislators.

  State law requires the legislature to meet in regular session biennially at 9:00 am on the second Wednesday in January after the general election to organize itself. The legislature must then adjourn until noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January. The North Carolina State Constitution allows the presiding officers of the state legislature – the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives – to call special sessions upon the request of three-fifths of the members of each chamber. There does not appear to be a limit on the duration of either regular or special sessions.

Click here to visit the scorecard's website...

Environmental Scorecard

League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters' scorecard considers the State Legislature's environmental records since 1971. It quantifies the environmental votes of each individual legislator — an important first step in considering accountability — and provides critical qualitative assessments as well. The scorecard will help you to know your legislator before you write a letter in support of cougars.

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...

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Commonly abbreviated as: NCWRC

David Cobb, Wildlife Management Division Chief

(919) 707-0050

Section Manager
Wib Owen
(919) 733-7291

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.



Copyright 1988-2019. Material produced by the Mountain Lion Foundation is protected under copyright laws. Permission to rebroadcast or duplicate is granted for non-commercial use when the Mountain Lion Foundation is credited.