The mountain lion has the widest distribution of any wild cat from Canada to South America. Formerly distributed throughout North America, the mountain lion is now found mostly in the remote areas of the western U.S.
From deserts to humid coast range forest, and from sea level to 10, 000-foot elevations. They live where there is abundant prey and stalking cover available. There are seasonal differences in habitat use which are related to prey movement
Length (from head to tail) Male: can be more than 8 ft.
Female: can be greater than 7 ft.
Male: 130-150 lbs.
Female: 65-90 lbs.
Deer, porcupines, rabbits, coyotes, prairie dogs, beaver, sheep, skunks and grasses.
About 12 years
Up to 25 years
Despite being hunted in most of their range, puma numbers appear to be stable or increasing in North America because states have put restrictions on the number of pumas being harvested and there has been better management of ungulate populations and habitat improvement
Man, loss of habitat.
Their hind legs are longer than their front legs for running and jumping. A long spinal column provides increased lumbar flexation while running. They are a plain colored cat as an adult. Their color can vary from grey to dark brown to tawny and buff to cinnamon red depends on geographic location.
Solitary except during breading season.
Cats spend most of their time on the ground, but they are adept at climbing trees. Their chief range preferences are rocky precipitous canyons, escarpments, rim rocks or in absence of these, dense brush. The signpost for a male consists of a small pile of leaves and grasses which he scrapes together, and urinates on.
They communicate through scrapes fecal mounds. They also have vocals that range from purrs, mews, hisses, growls, spits, and "screams".
Very powerful, uses strong sharp claws and teeth to defend itself.
Prey size range from mice to moose (varies with latitude). Deer are 60-80% of their diet.
- temperate- prey is as big or bigger than themselves
- tropics- prey is >1/2 their weight
They can maneuver easily through rough terrain by running, swimming and climbing trees when needed. They are excellent jumpers. They can jump 18 ft into a tree and 20 ft up a hillside.
They hunt any time day or night - but peak at dawn and dusk and rest during midday. Their activity coincides with their prey's activity.
Newborns have densely spotted brownish buff fur with blue eyes which is obvious until 4 months old. Then at 8 months the spots become faded, at 10 months the spots become difficult to see, they are only on the hind legs, and at 16 months the eyes become a yellowish brown.
The potential for being killed or injured by a mountain lion is quite low compared to many other natural hazards. There is a far greater risk, for example, of being struck by lightning than of being attacked by a mountain lion.
Mountain lions have the most number of common names of any animal because they were found in lots of different areas so they meant lots of different things to many people.