Missouri once had abundant mountain lions that roamed the forests and hills. However, human activities killed off the state's puma population in the early 1900s. Nearly 100 years later, increasing numbers of potential sightings convinced the Missouri Department of Conservation to establish the Mountain Lion Response Team in 1996. Though many reports have been confirmed, Missouri does not have a permanent, self-sustaining breeding population of mountain lions. Mountain lions in Missouri are classified as a furbearing animal. While mountain lions are currently not listed as an endangered species, state law does allow Missouri's officials to designate a species as endangered even if not listed as endangered or threatened by the United States Department of the Interior.