Mountain Lions In New Hampshire

Are There Mountain Lions In New Hampshire?

Mountain lion in the snowDespite numerous reports, the NH Fish and Game Department continues to have no physical evidence of mountain lion presence in the state. The species that once inhabited the Northeast, known as the eastern mountain lion, is now extinct. However, dispersing western mountain lions have left evidence as close as Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.


Physical Evidence Needed

NH Fish and Game relies on physical evidence to answer questions about the presence or absence of mountain lion in the state. To date, the Department has not received any verifiable evidence (photographic or DNA) of mountain lions existing in New Hampshire.


Profile view of a mountain lionWhat Comprises Physical Evidence?

  • Verifiable pictures recorded by the observing person or a trail camera.
  • Scat
  • Fur specimens

NH Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Patrick Tate reports that so far, mountain lion reports accompanied by photographs have been misidentified bobcats or housecats, or pictures of mountain lions taken from the Internet and reported as being recorded in New Hampshire.

Numerous scat and fur specimens have been turned in as part of mountain lion report investigations; DNA identification has shown these submitted samples to be from domestic dog, coyote, bobcat and raccoon. Reports without physical evidence are not dismissed, however Fish and Game cannot verify a sighting report without physical evidence.


How to Report a Possible Mountain Lion Sighting

If you believe you have seen a mountain lion and want to report it to NH Fish and Game, please contact the Wildlife Division at (603) 271-2461 or to request an observation report form.