Utah is well-known for its spectacular landscapes and rough mountain ranges and also has captivated outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts. Among the various questions arising when exploring Utah, one that often appears is whether are there mountain lions in the state.
So, In this article, I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the mountain lions of Utah, their eating habits, size, and status in the state.
Are There Any Mountain Lions In Utah?
Yes, currently it is estimated that around 2,700 mountain lions are living in the state of Utah. The mountains, deserts, and swamps within the state’s border make a suitable habitat for mountain lions to reside in the state.
Most of the native population of mountain lions are found in Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, but rarely seen outside as they are very secretive in nature.
Where Are Mountain Lions Found In Utah?
Mountain lions in Utah can be found in forested regions and are also distributed throughout all eco-regions. However, they also show a wide habitat tolerance arising from the semi-dry lower-elevation pinion-juniper belt, to the aspen, mesic, and conifer forests of the taller plateaus and mountains.
Habitat grade differs by region with the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau having smaller, fragmented habitats and lower mountain lion populations, and the mountain regions composed of fairly big, moist patches.
Mountain Lion Sightings In Utah?
As mountain lions are a native population of the state sightings of them are reported very often in almost every region of Utah. Though their habitat regions are primarily mountains, forested areas, and canyons, they can also be seen in areas of human settlements, like suburban neighborhoods.
The residents of Utah have made occasional reports on sightings to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and they have also kept track of them to monitor their distribution in the state.
The must recent sighting of mountain lion was recorded in Ogden, on April 10, 2023 when a mountain lion was capture prowling in the yard. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has stated that the mountain lion could have been in the area in search of its prey. Prior to this sighting a pet dog was killed by a mountain lion in the same neighborhood.
Are Mountain Lions A Problem In Utah?
Mountain lions are a natural element of Utah’s ecosystem, though they are elusive and avoid humans, there are a few rare interactions between humans and mountain lions.
As there is a healthy population of mountain lions, they pose a possible risk to humans and livestoks. The state encourages residents to be aware and take necessary precautions when hiking, by securing livestock and removing possible food sources near their properties.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions IN US
How Big Are Utah Mountain Lions?
Mountain lions are big wild cats, as adults, they can range up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder level and be about 8 feet in length from tail to nose. Their tail is around one-third the total length of their whole body. These cats typically weigh anywhere from 75 to 175 pounds.
What To Do If You See A Mountain Lion in Utah?
If you see a mountain lion in Utah, you must stay quiet and must not make hurried movements. You must gradually back away while keeping your eyes on the animal and not letting it out of your eyesight as it gives it room to attack you.
Also, never run away or bend down when near a mountain lion as it will misunderstand you for prey and think they are attacking one. When the lion keeps coming nearer, raise your arms or use clothes to look bigger and make loud noises like shouting and clapping. If the animals have still not backed off, then throw anything like stones or sticks that can scare the animal.
What Do Mountain Lions Eat In Utah?
Mountain lions are carnivores and in Utah deer make up over 80% of the animal’s diet. They also eat hares, rabbits, porcupines, bobcats, elk, coyotes, and sometimes, even livestock. Mountain lions can also be seen eating grasses.
Mountain Lions are known as ambush hunters. They silently stalk their prey and then followed by a fast attack. A single mountain lion can feed up to 30 pounds of flesh in one meal. After feeding they will bury the prey and return to consume the prey for almost 10 days.
Can You Kill A Mountain Lion In Utah?
Hunting of mountain lions in Utah is allowed. The rules controlling “recreational” hunting specify only 96 cougar hunting teams. The hunting season of mountain lions typically is from November to May unless the total number is met with harvest objectives.
Hound hunting of mountain lions is also allowed. Firearms are not fully automatic and crossbows are not allowed to be used by the hunters.
The state also allows its residents to kill or hurt mountain lions when necessary to protect themselves or livestock against wild animals that will result in injury or death. This must be notified within 12 hours to the UDWR. The evidence or the mountain lion’s body must not be removed without documented permission from the division.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions In Tennessee
And that was everything you need to know about the mountain Lions in Utah. 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.