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


Help protect North Dakota's declining mountain lion population!

North Dakota Game and Fish has been closely monitoring the state’s mountain lion population and found that the population has been declining precipitously. The population is somewhat isolated from other populations in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota and must have some protections if we want it to remain viable.

Help us push NDGFD to establish a management plan with specific objectives, protocols, habitat analyses, and conflict response procedures!

  • Return to the portal page for North Dakota.

  • The status of Puma concolor in North Dakota.

  • State law and regulations affecting cougars.

  • The history of cougars in North Dakota.

  • Ecosystems and habitat in North Dakota.

  • Cougar science and research in North Dakota.

  • Our library of media, research and reports.

  • How you can take action to help!

Here's what you can do:

Immediate Steps:

  1. Write to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and ask them to consider the following:
    • Institute a moratorium on mountain lion sport hunting until further study can be conducted to demonstrate that the population can withstand hunting pressure
    • Establish a mountain lion management plan with defined objectives and protocols
    • Revisit habitat analyses that focus on dispersal pathways and potential core habitat
    • Develop educational tools and require a mandatory completion of this tool before obtaining a mountain lion hunting license
    • Promote tools for livestock-mountain lion conflict prevention such as sound animal husbandry practices and recognize that hunting is not a viable option for preventing conflict
    • Explore partnerships with organizations to promote conflict prevention, education, and ethical hunting practices
  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 North Dakota.

Interim Steps:

  1. Become familiar with the North Dakota Century Code (state law) and North Dakota Administrative Code. Reach out to MLF and wildlife experts. Then attend public meetings with the North Dakota Game and Fish Advisory Board and ask them to:
    1. Require certain steps be taken by owners to protect their pets or livestock before they are eligible to receive the state offered compensation for losses.
    2. Put an end to the unfair practice of using dogs to hunt cougars.
    3. Offer information and training for landowners on non-consumptive techniques for dealing with potential depredation issues.
    4. Develop and implement a rancher outreach and education strategy
  2. Do you know of a state official that may understand the importance of protecting mountain lions in North Dakota? Write to them:
    1. Tell them why you and so many others want to severely limit the hunting quotas that are causing state mountain lion populations to decline.
    2. Implore them to begin an effort to establish depredation regulations that require the exhaustive use non-lethal strategies.
    3. Explain the need to conduct a habitat impact assessment prior to expanding human development.

Long term Steps:

  1. Request to meet with your state legislators to talk about
    1. Putting an end to the use of dogs for hunting mountain lions.
    2. The potential management benefits that could stem from accurately recording mountain lions killed on the state’s roads.

Graph of human-caused lion mortality in ND.

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 North Dakota. Carter discusses the often ridiculous lengths the North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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...

North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Commonly abbreviated as: NDGFD

Kim Kary, Division Chief

Main Office:
100 N. Bismarck Expressway
Bismarck, ND 58501-50951
(701) 328-6300

Game Management Section
Leader and Furbearer Biologist

Stephanie Tucker
100 N. Bismarck Expressway
Bismarck, ND 58501-50951
(701) 220-1871

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

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.