The Mountain Lions of Michigan
Kirk Johnson
International Ecological Partnerships, P.O. Box 40323, Grand Junction CO 81504 USA

Though the mountain lion (Puma concolor) has been considered extirpated in Michigan since the
early 1900s, sightings of the big cats have persisted in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
Reports of mountain lions increased during the 1990s, and the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) does acknowledge the existence of this species within the state. However, State
officials continue to insist that the majority of these sightings involve former captive animals or
misidentification of other species, rather than a wild population of mountain lions. The growing
number of mountain lion sightings in recent years — by biologists, hunters, and other citizens —
suggests that there may well be a small breeding population of the species in Michigan.