Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.
  Photo Courtesy of Matthew Paulson
 
Photo of landsacape.

FLORIDA LAW AFFECTING LIONS

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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.

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

  • The status of puma concolor in Florida.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in Florida.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in Florida.

  • Cougar science and research in Florida.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Florida Cougar Laws and Regulations


Generally, treatment of wildlife in the State of Florida is governed by the Florida Statutes – the state’s collection of all the laws passed by its legislature. 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 Florida.

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

Florida’s wildlife regulations are set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The commission’s regulations can be found here and are part of the Florida Administrative Code – the collection of all Florida’s agency rules. The regulations most pertinent to mountain lions can be found in https://www.flrules.org/gateway/Division.asp?DivID=347.

The Legislature

The Florida State Legislature is a full-time, bicameral legislative body. The lower chamber – the House of Representatives - consists of 120 members who serve 2-year terms. Representatives are limited to four terms. The Republican Party has controlled the Florida House of Representatives since 1997. The upper chamber – the Senate - is made up of 40 members who serve 4-year terms. Florida state senators are limited to two terms. The Republican Party has controlled the Florida Senate since 1995. Information on how to contact your member of the Florida House of Representatives can be found here, and information on how to contact your state senator can be found here.

The Constitution of the State of Florida governs when the legislature is to meet. Fourteen days after each general election, the legislature convenes in order to organize itself and elect officers. Regular sessions convene each year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. Regular sessions are limited to 60 consecutive days. Special sessions may be called by the governor or by the vote of three-fifths of the members of each chamber of the legislature. Special sessions are limited to 20 consecutive days unless three-fifths of the members of each chamber vote to extend the session.


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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.

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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...

Florida Wildlife Commission.

Commonly abbreviated as: FWC

Nick Wiley, Executive Director

Main Office:
620 S. Meridian St.
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850) 488-4676


Panther Team Leader
Darrell Land






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

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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