The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports DNA test results show that four mountain lions seen in Missouri last year came from three Western states, illustrating the species’ capacity for long-distance travel.
With the passage of Proposition 117 in 1990, mountain lions became a "specially protected species," making mountain lion hunting illegal in California. This status and other statutes prohibit the Department of Fish and Game from recommending a hunting season for lions, and it is illegal to take, injure, possess, transport, import, or sell any mountain lion or part of a mountain lion. Mountain lions may be killed only 1) if a depredation permit is issued to take a specific lion killing livestock or pets; 2) to preserve public safety; or 3) to protect listed bighorn sheep.
A mountain lion discovered in the courtyard of a downtown Santa Monica office building was shot and killed Tuesday as it tried to escape capture.
Authorities made multiple attempts to try and subdue the young male cat, including use of a tranquilizer, before killing it, said Capt. Daniel Sforza of the state Fish and Game Department.
Last june, there was an unprecedented occurence. A cougar traced to South Dakota managed to journey to Greenwich, and was hit and killed in Milford.
After that, reports of possible cougar sightings jumped.
Al Hicks, DEC Mammal Specialist for Endangered Species, points out that mountain lion evidence is readily found in Florida where the long standing established population is fewer than 70 individuals. In addition to leaving tracks and scat and dead deer, mountain lions are found dead along the roads after being hit by cars. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, ten mountain lions were found dead in the state in 2006 alone, with five of them killed by cars.
There are an estimated 30,000 mountain lions in the western United States. One mountain lion subspecies, the Florida panther, is critically endangered with a population of less than 100 individuals.
Mountain lions eat a variety of prey depending on where they live, including deer, pigs, capybaras, raccoons, armadillos, hares, and squirrels. Some larger cats even bring down animals as big as an elk or a moose.
Mating Season: Commonly from December to March, but can happen at any time during the year.
Gestation: 82-96 days.
Litter size: 2-4 kittens
Type: Mammal Diet: Carnivore
Size: Head and body, 3.25 to 5.25 ft (1 to 1.6 m); Tail, 23.5 to 33.5 in (60 to 85 cm)
Weight: 136 lbs (62 kg)
Protection status: Endangered Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man
Solitary cats, unlike their African brethren, Mountain lions are highly adaptable to situations and environments, and this adaptability has enabled lions to survive across some of their original range, despite severe habitat loss and active threats.