Mountain Lion In Michigan: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Mountain Lion In Michigan

Michigan is well-known for its abundant wildlife and picturesque landscapes, that has captivated many nature enthusiasts. From the lush forests to the clear lakes, the state’s wildness has provided shelter for many species. The mountain lion, also once roamed in this huge territory, during the early 20th century.

But, what is the state of mountain Lions in present-day Michigan? 

In this article, I’ve explained everything you need to know about mountain lions in Michigan.

Do Mountain Lions Live In Michigan?

Michigan used to have a great population of mountain lions, however, due to conflicts with livestock, unsustainable hunting, and habitat demolition, have made them vanish from the state. 

The European settlement played a major role in the eradication as mountain lions were viewed as a nuisance to their livestock and competition for wild game and venison. 

In 1906, the final documented wild cougar was legally killed in the state. However, in recent years there have been several sightings of mountain lions in several parts of Michigan which suggests the species may have a small resident population in the state.

Mountain lions are mostly found in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. However, historically when they existed in a fair number, they roamed around all regions of Michigan. 

How Big Are Mountain Lions In Michigan?

The mountain lions in Michigan are typically about 3’3” to about 5’5” inches in length and the height of them from the ground to the shoulders is about 2 to 3 feet. 

In adulthood, female mountain lions usually weigh anywhere from 80 and 100 pounds, and male mountain lions weigh anywhere from 125 to 160 pounds.

Are There Black Cougars In Michigan?

Mountain Lion In Michigan

Black cougars have generated a considerable amount of interest among wildlife enthusiasts. However, to date, there is no proof supporting the existence of black cougars in Michigan or North America. The coloration of cougars generally ranges from gray to almost black making them look like black-colored cougars. 

Though there have been occasional reports of the sighting of black cougars in Michigan, it is important to know that there is no verified scientific evidence for their existence. Misidentifications, such as distance, lighting conditions, and other factors can also affect the animal’s coloration. 

Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions IN US

Mountain Lion Sightings In Michigan?

Though mountain lions were eradicated from the state of Michigan years back, there have been a few reposts on sightings that indicate a growing population roaming around the state.

Since 2008, there have been multiple documented sightings, that have been reported, including two unlawful haunting that took place in the Upper Peninsula. 

From 2019 to 2021, the reported sightings of mountain lions were caught on trail cameras. Of which, 10 sightings in 2021 that happened in the Upper Peninsula, were confirmed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The reported sightings have been only increasing in recent years but it has been difficult for biologists to confirm their existence in the breeding colonies.

Can You Shoot A Mountain Lion In Michigan?

Mountain lions or any big exotic cat that is an immediate and direct danger to human life can be killed in Michigan. However, mountain lions cannot be killed in defense of livestock without permission from the DNR.

Any animal killed must be notified to the DNR as they will collect all the physical evidence available to judge if it was a threat to human safety or not.

Are There Big Cats In Michigan?

The mountain lion, bobcat, and lynx are the native big cat species that can be found in Michigan. As they usually do not venture into the open to play, most Michiganders are amazed when they know of their sightings as they are not native to the state and use the state as a path when they travel across the nations. 

The Canada lynx has been seen numerous times within the state’s northern areas.  However, the most familiar wild cat seen in Michigan is the bobcat, which has established a resident population in all the counties in Michigan.

Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions In Massachusetts


And that was everything you need to know about the mountain lions in Michigan. I hope this article answered all your queries.

Thank You For Reading!

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