Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Mountain Lion, Cougar, Puma or Catamount – Facts and Information

Mountain Lion, Puma, Cougar, Catamount
Photo source: sgbrown

The mountain lion, scientifically known as Felis concolor. It is one of four wildcats native to North America. The average size of a mountain lion is 3.25 to 5.25 feet in length, not including their tail. Their tail can be from 23.5 to 33.5 inches in length. They weigh around 136 pounds on average and are extremely powerful animals. Adults have a tawny colored coat with no markings but they young is born with spots that will disappear as they get older.

These beautiful lions once roamed most of the US, but over years of being hunted by farmers and ranchers who would lose much of the stock to these powerful hunters, their number have drastically declined. Their range has almost disappeared throughout the Midwest and Eastern parts of the US. With the increase in the white tail deer population throughout the Midwest, the numbers of mountain lions are on the increase with some sightings in Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. There have also been sightings reported in Oregon and Washington State. The mountain lion is considered to be an endangered species. The Florida panther was almost wiped out in the southern parts of the US, but is on the rebound.

 Mountain lions will prey on smaller mammals such as raccoon, porcupines, beaver, rabbits, mice and squirrels. They will also prey on larger mammals such as whitetail deer and coyotes. They are night hunters and might be seen during the late evening or early morning hours. They stalk their prey until the moment is right then pounce, biting at the back of the neck. 

Mountain lions need a lot of room to roam. Their range can vary from 10 square miles to 370 square miles. They are solitary animals and are rarely seen by humans. Statistics show that there are only an average of four attacks on humans each year in the US and Canada, mainly people out alone or small children who are unattended.Other than man, the mountain lion has no natural predators. The largest threat to these beautiful big cats is habitat loss and poaching.

You may also enjoy reading:

The Liger - The Largest of the "Big Cats"

 If you like my picture above, you can find it and more cougar photography for sale at Fine Art America where you can find me as Sheila Brown.
Mountain lion mug.
Mountain lion poster.