The Status of Mountain Lions in Texas

The mountain lion (Felis concolor) is legally classified as a nongame mammal in Texas within the broad scope of wildlife regulatory authority delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Lions are not subject to any specific protective regulations; however, mountain lions are recognized as an important part of the native fauna of Texas. The Department is currently collecting mortality and sighting data by ecological region to determine current distribution and population status of Texas lions. Sighting data are reported by county with the date, number and estimated age of lions, and location. Mortality data includes the above information plus weight, length, and reason for death. Over 1,500 mortalities and 1,400 sightings were reported from 1983 to 1994. Sightings were recorded in all ten ecological regions and mortalities in all ecological regions except the Blackland Prairies and Post Oak Savannah. Most sightings and mortalities have occurred in the Trans-Pecos Ecological Region. Texas mountain lion management addresses a wide spectrum of issues including their impact on domestic livestock, wildlife, and encounters with human beings; while filling an ecological role as one of the largest predators in Texas and providing sport hunting opportunities.

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