Mountain Lion Population by State 2022

Texas

Texas holds the most diverse population of mountain lions and is also the most plentiful. It is difficult to estimate just how many mountain lions reside in this state, as large packs are difficult to find. Animals are unlike humans and do not live in large clusters, preferring instead to form groups and packs based on family and their immediate surroundings, while also looking for a habitat. Mountain Lions are most abundant in the Trans-Pecos region of the state, where there are about 50-80k acres of suitable land for the mountain lions to call home. While there aren't any official estimates on the number, it is most likely at the several thousand mark.

New Mexico

New Mexico contains some of the best climates to hold mountain lions, as it most resembles what they need in a habitat. New Mexico and Arizona are largely similar in formation, and also in mountain lion size. The population of mountain lions is estimated to be around 3500. New Mexico is home to many tracts of untouched rocky landscape, where bighorn sheep reside in large populations. Bighorn sheep, while iconic, are one of the best prey for mountain lions, as they are used to traversing lumpy and mountainous terrain.

Colorado

Colorado is well-known for its mountains, where, unsurprisingly, mountain lions make their home. It is estimated that there are between 4000-6000 mountain lions scattered across this state, mostly in areas with rocky and mountainous habitats. Mountain lions love to hunt and hide in dense forests, and the trees in Colorado are home to some of the densest populations of elk.

Utah

Utah is surprisingly chockfull of mountain lions. They are, however, largely unseen by humans because they are secretive and keep to themselves. When mountain lions even pick up the smell of encroaching humans, they tend to hide or run away. Furthermore, they love to live in desolate areas, away from prying human eyes. It is estimated that there are 2500 mountain lions, largely by Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

Oregon

Oregon holds some of the largest populations of mountain lions, as the isolated forests and mountains are plentiful within the state, making it a prime habitat for migration and breeding. Most of Oregon's population tends to stick closer to its cities, towns, and metropolitan areas, so mountain lions are often left to their own devices and enjoy a human-free environment. Over 6000 mountain lions are estimated to be in this state and there are controlled hunting laws available during appropriate seasons.

California

California, and most of the region on the west coast, make the perfect place for mountain lions. In fact, the Canadian province of British Columbia holds the most mountain lions among our northern neighbors, whose climate and landscape are much the same as California. There are large pockets of undeveloped interior terrain within the state, which allow mountain lions to live, breed, and hunt. Furthermore, mountain lions have been banned from legal hunting seasons since 1972, which has had a positive effect on the population increase.

Mountain Lion Population by State 2022