About the mountain lion

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DESCRIPTION

  • The mountain lion is the second-largest cat living in the Americas. (The jaguar is the largest.)
  • Males are 3 to 6 feet long and weigh 150 to 225 pounds.
  • Females are 3 to 5 feet long and weigh 80 to 130 pounds.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The mountain lion’s scientific name, Felis concolor, means “cat of one color.” This big cat has many common names, including puma, cougar, painter, catamount, and panther.

HABITAT

  • The mountain lion lives in a variety of habitats, including forests, brush country, grasslands, and swamps.
  • Any area with dense vegetation or caves to provide shelter is suitable habitat for a mountain lion.

RANGE

  • The mountain lion has a large range and lives across both North and South America.

DIET

  • The mountain lion is a carnivore and feeds mostly on deer, pigs, raccoons, and other mammals. It can even take down large prey such as elk and moose.

BEHAVIOR

  • Adult mountain lions spend most of their lives alone, interacting with other members of the species only to mate.
  • The mountain lion is a strong runner. Its large paws and sharp claws help the big cat grip the ground when on the run. Despite these traits, the mountain lion usually stalks its prey and then pounces rather than chasing after its meal.
  • Wild mountain lions are nocturnal, meaning they are only active at night.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The mountain lion can jump up to 18 feet into a tree.

REPRODUCTION

  • Mountain lions mate year-round, but in North America, mating is most common from December to March.
  • Gestation lasts 3 months. Litters consist of 1 to 6 cubs, usually 3 or 4.
  • Cubs often remain with their mother for 15 months. However, some cubs have stayed with their mother for as long as 26 months (more than 2 years).

STATUS

  • The mountain lion is a species of least concern on the Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Some subspecies are listed as vulnerable or endangered.

THREATS

  • Habitat alteration
  • Human conflict
  • Hunting

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