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MOUNTAIN LION HABITAT IN NEW JERSEY

Help ensure a future for mountain lions in New Jersey.

Though mountain lions once roamed the hills and forests of New Jersey, 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 New Jersey.

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 New Jersey.

  • The status of Puma concolor in New Jersey.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in New Jersey.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in New Jersey.

  • Cougar science and research in New Jersey.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

New Jersey Lion Habitat and Population

Before European settlement, mountain lions roamed throughout New Jersey 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 New Jersey to local extinction.

New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey. 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...

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Commonly abbreviated as: NJDEP

Larry Herrighty, Acting Director

Main Office:
N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife
Mail Code 501-03
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
(609) 292-2965


Biologist
Mike Valent
7A Van Syckels Road
Hampton, NJ 08827
nromvalent@nac.net
(908) 735-8975

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

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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