There are only a few states which can compete with the wide range of habitats in Massachusetts. From dense forests to mountains, the state’s landscapes provide a range of habitats for distinct species to coexist.
Some of the wildlife includes black bears, migratory birds, and bobcats in Berkshire mountains, small mammals like rabbits in grasslands and meadows, etc.
But are there mountain lions in the state? Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the presence of Mountain Lions in Massachusetts and much more.
Are There Mountain Lion in Massachusetts?
Sadly, there is currently no established population of mountain lions in Massachusetts.
Historically, mountain lions were found in the eastern part of the country including Massachusetts. However, due to extensive bounty and loss of habitat due to urbanization, these wild creatures were eradicated from the eastern parts.
Now these resilient creatures are found in the western parts including a small population in south Florida.
Despite this, many of the people in the state have reported a number of mountain lion sightings. It is, however, most likely that these are either sightings from other states’ cougars or that of bobcats.
Mountain Lion Sightings in Massachusetts?
Yes, there have been a large number of mountain lion sighting in the state, and it doesn’t seem to be decreasing. Thanks to technological advancement, the public these days submit even pictures and video proof to the authorities. However, other than 2 confirmed sightings, the state authority has rejected all others.
While some of these videos are of mountain lions, it hasn’t been shot in the state. It is also worthwhile to note that most of these mistaken reports are bobcats. Some coyotes have also been mistaken for mountain lions.
The two sittings took place in 1997 and 2011 and were both near the Quabbin reservation. As per trackers, the mountain lion sighted in 2011 is believed to be the Connecticut mountain lion that was killed by an SUV on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford, Connecticut.
How Big Are Mountain Lion in Massachusetts?
While currently there is no well-established population of mountain lions in the state, we can discuss their size based on the sightings. Note that while the size of any wild animal like a mountain lion varies based on several factors, the ones sighted across all the states are similar.
In terms of length, adult male mountain lions measure about 6 to 8 feet from nose to tail with a tail of length 2 to 3 feet and stand at about 2 to 2.5 feet. As female mountain lions are smaller, they measure around 5 to 7 feet. Reiterating this fact adult male mountain lions weigh anywhere between 120 to 200 pounds whereas, adult female mountain lions weigh between 80 to 140 pounds.
However, as mountain lions are not native to the state and haven’t been known to have an established population, you may never see a mountain lion of any size in Massachusetts.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions IN US
Can You Shoot a Mountain Lion in Massachusetts?
No, you cannot shoot a mountain lion in the state. Although there are no populations of animals in Massachusetts, the state laws still protect mountain lions. It is, therefore, illegal to kill/hunt these creatures unless these creatures threaten your life.
As the population of wild animals depends on several factors and changes from time to time, there may be a time when mountain lions come to Massachusetts.
At that time, it is important that the residents know about their history, their role in balancing the environment, and support to conserve it.
Therefore, if in the future you do sight a mountain lion, don’t kill it. Inform the state’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife regarding the presence of mountain lions. They will take necessary precautions to help you feel safer in the state.
What States Have Most Mountain Lions?
In the U.S., Montana state is believed to have the highest population of mountain lions. Rugged landscapes in the state, help support a large number of these creatures. Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming are the other states with a substantial number of mountain lion population.
Additionally, mountain lions are not well distributed throughout these states as their population depends on a number of factors like prey availability, human population density, and competition from other apex predators.
While you could visit these states to observe these creatures in the wild, it isn’t safe. The best way would be to visit a national park or wildlife sanctuary to both have a closer look at these creatures and maintain a safe distance while doing so.
What Kind of Wild Cats Live in Massachusetts?
The only native wild cats found in Massachusetts are the bobcats. While these are smaller than true big cat species, they are still considered one. They reach to about 4 feet in length and weigh about 35 to 40 pounds.
They also have similar exteriors and look like mountain lions. And having said that, most of the false sightings of mountain lions across Massachusetts are also because of bobcats.
In addition to bobcats, there were eastern cougar a subspecies of mountain lions found in the eastern states historically, However, they were confirmed extinct in 2018 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions In Maine
And that was everything you need to know about the Mountain Lions In Massachusetts. I hope this article answered all your queries.
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I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.