Holmes protects cougars, wolves, bears in Illinois

cougar-lawBears, wolves and mountain lions now have added protections in Illinois after a measure sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) was signed into law.

Now, American black bears, gray wolves and mountain lions are protected species under the Illinois Wildlife Code. These animals were native predators, but have been absent for decades in Illinois.

“This measure protects biodiversity in our state and ensures that bear, wolf and mountain lion populations can grow to sustainable levels,” Holmes said.

Before this law, these animals could be hunted at will in Illinois. Holmes’ proposal allows Department of Natural Resources to regulate their population growth. Almost all other mammals, including bobcats and coyotes, are already regulated under the wildlife code.

According to the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, since 2000, at least seven gray wolves, four mountain lions and two black bears have been spotted in Illinois.

Read more about Illinois wildlife here.


Sen. Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader
42nd District

Years served: 2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Executive; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.

Associated Representatives:
Barbara Hernandez
Stephanie A. Kifowit