Since 1990, the mountain lion in California has been legally protected against being killed by "hunters," or against being captured and taken out of state for other purposes. The mountain lion is designated a "specially protected mammal," and there is a $10,000 fine, and possible one-year jail term, for anyone who violates these protective laws. If someone is endangered by a mountain lion (such as a rancher, or the rancher's animals), they can report any attacks to the appropriate authorities, who are responsible for capturing or killing the mountain lion if necessary. The California Fish and Game Code section 4800 et seq. was passed to protect some of the wild animals in the state of California who were being murdered as "sport."
The main danger to the wild animals of the world comes from the unrestricted growth in the population of human beings. We should start a program to "encourage" people to have 1/2 of a child only, to cut the world's population in half. After that, maybe we should cut it in half again.
But the public worshipping of people having multiple births, large families, as if that represented something positive, as opposed to being simply self-absorbed ignorant people too lazy to use birth control, or religious cultists who believe their preachers who tell them to have more and more kids, is ridiculous. The overpopulation of the world is leading to the exhaustion of all its resources, destroying habitats, exterminating the animals with whom we share the world by destroying their environment.
In California, for example, the unrestricted immigration into the state ("immigration" in this case meaning from other states as well as from outside of the country) has created a bubble based on debt followed by an economic state of collapse, overbuilding of grossly overpriced houses to cram more and more people into the state, misuse and exhaustion of water by throwing it onto more and more lawns, polluting the air with cars and polluting the ocean with chemicals used by people, and with waste products which result in beaches being closed to human use because of excessively high fecal matter floating in the water. Nothing good comes from the unrestricted growth and increase in population such as that which has occurred in California, as well as in many other parts of the world.
For example, what if we set up a fund to provide free sterilization to people in third world countries, and give them money if they get sterilized after having only one child. Many women would be thrilled to be able to control their reproduction. The churches would oppose this, but who cares. The churches are mostly responsible for the gross overpopulation which is destroying the world.
It is legally possible to protect certain wild animals. But if local authorities continue to allow the mass building of housing, destruction of the environment and replacement of everything natural with tract homes, then ultimately all the animals will die out with or without legal protection.
Some people want to change the laws, to allow "trophy" hunting of mountain lions. That's what they call it. Ignorant rich white men want to kill mountain lions, then have their picture taken with the corpse. I would propose that if anything, we might consider a law authorizing the "trophy" hunting of rich white men. And maybe of religious fanatics who won't stop breeding. If they want a big family, they can have one kid then adopt some of the orphans from Afghanistan whose parents we've blown to bits.
California Fish & Game Code section 4800. (a) The mountain lion (genus Felis) is a specially protected mammal under the laws of this state. (b) It is unlawful to take, injure, possess, transport, import, or sell any mountain lion or any part or product thereof, ... (c) Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. ....