Photo of ~insert photo description~.
Photo of ~insert photo description~.


Mountain lions are not even mentioned in Rhode Island’s legal code.

Rhode Island classifies mountain lions as a nongame species. Due to the absence of a state endangered and threatened species list, mountain lions are not recognized as such.

Further, state law does not prohibit trapping or hunting mountain lions. Depredating wildlife may be dealt with by the state’s Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialists in any way they see fit. Although, considering poaching regulations do not apply to non-game species, it is likely landowners may decide to act on their own.

  • Return to the portal page for Rhode Island.

  • The status of puma concolor in Rhode Island.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Rhode Island.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Rhode Island.

  • Cougar science and research in Rhode Island.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!


We need volunteers in your area!

Please sign up for email updates or email volunteer @ for more information about becoming a local field representative for MLF.

Here's what you can do:

Immediate Steps:

  1. Build a coalition to learn from and educate people on how to peacefully coexist with the mountain lion population.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Email and suggest local officials likely to be friendly to mountain lion conservation in Rhode Island.

Interim Steps:

  1. Become familiar with the Fish and Wildlife section of the Rhode Island Rules and Regulations. Then attend public meetings with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and ask them to
    1. develop a Mountain Lion Management Plan that will protect mountain lion habitat and prevent any intentional killings not necessitated by an immediate threat to human life.
    2. Request penalties for the taking or trapping of mountain lions - large enough to deter even the consideration of such an act.
    3. Produce a state endangered and threatened species list that includes mountain lions or at least include cougars on the list of state Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
  2. Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions in Maine? Write to them:
    1. Urge legislation to prohibit lion hunting and trapping.
    2. Ask them to ensure non-lethal steps are required to remove or deter mountain lions from damaging property before considering lethal action.
    3. Encourage mountain lion protection under a State List of Endangered & Threatened Species

Long term Steps:

  1. Request to meet with your state legislators to talk about:
    1. Recognizing the potential for mountain lions to return to Maine and how important it is to provide them legal protection.

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 Rhode Island. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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...

Janet Coit, Director

RI DEM Providence Office
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-4700 ex. 2409

Wildlife Division
Jason Osenkowski, Deputy Chief
277 Great Neck Road
West Kingston, RI 02892
(401) 789-7481

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

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.