Mountain lion (Puma concolor) confirmations in the Midwest have increased considerably, indicating a potential recolonization event. Although the ecological, social, and economic implications of recolonization are of considerable interest to managers and the general public, no studies have yet assessed human attitudes toward mountain lion management in the region. We surveyed Kentucky and North Dakota residents and found differences in their mountain lion experience histories, beliefs, trust in information, and support for mountain lion management options. North Dakota respondents' support for mountain lion protection appeared to be a function of their basic normative beliefs, while Kentucky respondents were influenced more so by affective responses. Hunters in both groups were more likely to support mountain lion control than protection. As managers address potential recolonization of mountain lions in the Midwest through adaptive management strategies, targeted and proactive communication with diverse groups will be critical.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by The Shared Earth Foundation and The Cougar Network. The authors also would like to acknowledge Harley Shaw, Chuck Anderson, Mark Dowling, Ken Miller, and Bob Wilson for their assistance with project development, as well as four anonymous reviewers for their insight and suggestions on the manuscript.
- Mountain lions
- Wildlife management