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Help protect mountain lions in New York state as populations expand eastward.

Despite ample habitat and prey, New York state lost its mountain lion population back in 1908. Research conducted in the 1980s concluded that road density was too high and roadkill rates would be more than a population could withstand. Since then, our understanding of mountain lion ecology and behavior has progressed. New research conducted by John Laundré and colleagues concluded that there is ample prey and habitat available within the Adirondack State Park that could support a population of mountain lions, despite any threats from roads or development. Help the state move forward on recovering their historic puma population.

  • Return to the portal page for New York.

  • The status of puma concolor in New York.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in New York.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in New York.

  • Cougar science and research in New York.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Here's what you can do:

Immediate Steps:

  1. Contact your local legislator and let them know that you support mountain lion recovery.
    In your letter or telephone call, please point out:
    • Restoring mountain lions to their native range will help achieve much-needed ecosystem balance.
      • Deer have become overabundant in the state, having a top predator back would help alleviate the problems this creates.
      • The state could save many thousands of dollars on controversial deer culling activities by facilitating the return of mountain lions
    • The majority of residents in New York want a healthy mountain lion population and the best way to achieve this is by supporting recolonization or reintroduction.
  2. Build a coalition to learn from and educate people on how to peacefully coexist with the mountain lion population.
  3. Contribute a positive voice. Write a letter to your local newspaper expressing excitement about local mountain lions and your views on the importance of protecting them.
  4. 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.
  5. Email and suggest local officials likely to be friendly to mountain lion conservation in New York.

Interim Steps

  1. Become familiar with Chapter 1- Fish and Wildlife of Title 6- Environmental Conservation in the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. Reach out to MLF and wildlife experts. Then attend public meetings with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Fish and Wildlife Board and ask them to:
    1. Develop a mountain lion management, recovery, or reintroduction plan that will protect mountain lions and their habitat
    2. Offer information and training for landowners on non-consumptive techniques for dealing with potential depredation issues.
    3. Revise anti-poaching regulations to impose penalties severe enough to deter any individuals desire to illegally take a mountain lion.
  2. Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions? Write to them:
    1. Implore them to establish depredation regulations that require the exhaustive use non-lethal strategies.
    2. Propose a government-funded reimbursement program for domestic animals lost to mountain lions that compensates the late owner with resources to protect their remaining assets.

Long term Steps:

  1. 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. The potential management benefits that could stem from accurately recording mountain lions killed on the state’s roads.
    3. Establishing safety corridors for wildlife to prevent encounters, habitat fracturing and isolation.

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 New York. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the New York 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 New York 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...

Carrie Meek Gallagher, Regional Director

Main Office:
50 Circle Road
Stony Brook, NY 11790-3409
(631) 444-0345

Mammal Specialist
Alan Hicks
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4754
(518) 402-8854

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

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.