Facts

Scientific Name:

Puma concolor.

Life expectancy:

10 years in the wild.

Common Names:

Cougar, Puma, Mountain Lion, Catamount, Ghost of the Forest, Night Screamer & 50 other names.

Weight:

  • Males: 100-140lbs, can reach up to 200lbs
  • Females: 70-120lbs

Size:

  • Head and body: 3.25 to 5.25 ft
  • Tail: 23.5 to 33.5 in
Size relative to a 6-ft man

Color:

Tawny, tan, reddish, grayish, brown.

Characteristics:

Elusive, shy, curious, solitary.

Habitat:

  • Forests, mountains
  • Low lands
  • Swamps
  • Plains & just about everywhere.
  • Coastline, where the highest density of deer are.

Shelters:

  • Rocky outcrops
  • Downed logs
  • Thickets
  • Abandoned structures
  • just about anywhere that has cover.

Prey:

  • Deer (White-tailed, primary diet)
  • Small mammals & domestic animals.
  • Birds and fish

Gestation:

  • 92 days
  • 1-6 cubs of which 1-2 will survive.
  • Cubs are spotted.

Scat:

  • 7-10 inches long in 1 inch segments and 1-1/4 inches in diameter or larger.
  • Fair amount of hair
  • Rounded ends & divided into fairly clear segments, each of which is roughly one inch in diameter.

Sounds:

  • Caterwauling (mating call)
  • Growls
  • Hissing
  • Purr

More Cougar Facts:

  • Excellent hunters and swimmers
  • Cougars can take down an animal up to 7x it’s size.
  • they can run 38-43 mph
  • Standing, cougars can jump 20 feet up and 11 feet with a 100lbs deer in mouth.
  • They can broad jump to 30 feet.
  • Running, they can jump a length of 40 feet.

Do’s & Don’ts when encountering a cougar:

  • DO NOT RUN (you could trigger natural instinct of a cougar to attack)
  • Stand big
  • Yell
  • Hike in groups
  • Carry a hiking stick/back-pack
  • Carry pepper spray

Order of Top Predators:

  • Cougar
  • Black Bear
  • Wolf
  • Coyote
  • Bobcat

For More Information:

Try google.

Cougars-snow

This powerful predator roams the Americas, where it is also known as a puma, cougar, and catamount. This big cat of many names is also found in many habitats, from Florida swamps to Canadian forests.

Mountain lions like to prey on deer, though they also eat smaller animals such as coyotes, porcupines, and raccoons. They usually hunt at night or during the gloaming hours of dawn and dusk. These cats employ a blend of stealth and power, stalking their prey until an opportunity arrives to pounce, then going for the back of the neck with a fatal bite. They will hide large carcasses and feed on them for several days.

Mountain lions once roamed nearly all of the United States. They were prized by hunters and despised by farmers and ranchers who suffered livestock losses at their hands. Subsequently, by the dawn of the 20th century, mountain lions were eliminated from nearly all of their range in the Midwest and Eastern U.S.—though the endangered Florida panther survives.
run

Today, whitetail deer populations have rebounded over much of the mountain lion’s former range and a few animals have appeared in more eastern states such as Missouri and Arkansas. Some biologists believe that these big cats could eventually recolonize much of their Midwest and Eastern range—if humans allow them to do so. In most western U.S. states and Canadian provinces, populations are considered sustainable enough to allow managed sport hunting.

Mountain lions require a lot of room—only a few cats can survive in a 30-square-mile (78-square-kilometer) range. They are solitary and shy animals, seldom seen by humans. While they do occasionally attack people—usually children or solitary adults—statistics show that, on average, there are only four attacks and one human fatality each year in all of the U.S. and Canada.

Cougar Tracks

Cougar Tracks

27 Replies to “Facts”

  1. The new book THE QUEST FOR THE EASTERN COUGAR-Extinction or Survival?

    has an excellent section on tracking cougars and knowing the sign…

  2. Could this site also include the average sizes and weights of males and females at various ages? The information will eliminate confusion and identification confusion.

  3. Today, in Tolland, CT, I thought I saw a bobcat…upon further investigation, I think that it may have been a type of cougar. It was tall, thin, long tail with a whiteish tip. It didnt seem to be muscular but I only saw it as it ran in front of my car. It stopped on the other side of the street where it appeared to stop and watch me from the edge of the woods. My first instinct was a bobcat, but the tail was too long. It was a light brown, tawny color other than the end of the tail. Wish I could have captured a picture!

    1. I saw one today as well. I posted my story in the sightings area. Was really big. Runs with grace and size not like a bobcat prancing and nimble.

  4. At 9 am this morning a Big cat the size of a large dog crossed in front of my car into the woods on Summer Hill Rd (north of RT 80, North Madison, CT) before Twilight Dr. It looked like a mountain lion: brownish/dark tawny and very healthy .

  5. I just recorded a mountain lion screaming, I have the video if anyone is interested. I live in Doddridge County, West Virginia on Cabin Run Road. My father killed one when I was about 7 years old (18 years ago) this was the exact same sound that one was making.

  6. Do the males mark their territory by spraying? God-awful heavy cat urine smell that lasted for 3 days in Preston recently.

  7. August 11, 2014 Saw a young mountain lion run across the street in front of my car. Is about 35 pounds since it looks about the size of my dog.

  8. Forgot to say that I saw the mountain lion in Milford, CT on Wolf Harbor Road at about 3:00 p.m.

  9. This site is great. Very educational. I live in Glocester, RI and have just over 13 acres on my property. I spend a lot of time outside hunting and ATVing. I had seen bobcats on two occasions. Last on was last year hunting from my tree stand. It was a mom with two babies. Last winter I saw huge tracks in the snow. I assumed they were from the bobcats. But after viewing the tracks on this sight, I think different. I’ll be sure to let you guys know if I find them again this year. I also have a trail cam so hopefully I get a pic of a mountain lion if they’re in my neighborhood. Also I was at uncle Harry’s barbershop last month and was told of several hunters that were in Durfee Hill management area hunting last year. They said DEM showed up and told them they had to leave but wouldn’t say why. The hunters walked a half mile away then branched off into different directions to hunt again. One of them circled back around unknowingly and came upon the DEM again. I was told that hunter observed the dem RELEASE a mountain lion into the woods. I heard this 3rd party so not sure how true. But was also told the state will never admit they are here because they would have to make the areas of their habitat protected (conservation area) and it would cost the state tens of millions of dollars. Be safe out in those woods!

  10. FYI Mountain lions/ cougars are not a top predator over black bear (let alone grizzly) or wolf. As a solitary hunter serious injury means death by starvation. They won’t challenge a wolf as that means wolf pack that will injure and either kill it immediately or if it escapes it will starve. They’ll run from a small black bear once the bear gets pissed off and aggressive rather than risk injury and death. They run from medium size and larger dogs because their survival instinct tells it that there is a canine pack coming and if it sticks around it will end up dead sooner or later. Yes small dogs are little more than rodent snacks but even then sometimes their instincts take over and they flee without taking a bite. By the way is it legal to let your dogs chase mountain lions for fun like we did out West? One of my dogs could care less about chasing coyotes even if the other picked it up at 9 months. They both love to chase black bears but just not that many since I moved back east. Mountain lions cover a lot more territory than bears so a lot easier for my dogs to find their scent. Thanks for the reports- we’ll be out tracking them down if I find out it’s legal.

  11. My Fiance and I had seen a juvenile cougar last Saturday, November 8th, 2014 while driving up Hwy. 191 from Vernal to Manila, Utah. That next day I stopped in the area of the sighting and I had found it’s tracks. Just yesterday I had found another set of tracks of similar fashion just a couple miles up from my subdivision in Coalmine Basin. Although they appeared to have been a smaller cat, they were still of the same shape.

    Like Jay had stated, I wish that this site could have given the shape and size of a juvenile cat so that we could properly identify the tracks. But, with the general shape displayed, this is enough to tell me that these are definitely Cougar tracks.

  12. I have a house with land in Sullivan county NY. On several occasions I have seen tan and black mountain lions. My first sighting was four years ago about 9:00 AM 20 yards away as I was sitting in a tree stand. It was early September I just went out to check things out watching four doe as they kept looking back I wondered what they were looking at I watched them as they left the field wondering what they were looking at I turned to my left and 20 yards away in full sun was a black mountain lion starring at me. I had no weapon no phone nothing green eyes all black with patches of mahogany color brown through out the body I’d say it wieghted approximatly 110-130 pounds. Inept telling myself my eyes are lying to me up until now the animal remained seated but as it rose up and I saw the five ft long body and four to four n a half ft tail there was absolutely no mistaking in my mind what this animal was. It walked off and I didn’t get down from that tree stand for three to three and a half hours. It was truly the longest twenty minute back to my house I’ve ever made. Since that first sighting I’ve seen others on several different occasions. Happy but very watchful in the woods Steve Franco.

    1. Thi black animal u claim would not have been a black mountain lion as there is no such bthing but sounds more like a melanistic jaguar. People have claimed sightings of them in ny for years

      1. Well there aren’t any “known” ones, but its not impossible, particularly if you start to get inbreeding. There have been a lot of sightings of these black cats. Nobody knows for sure what they are. There were a few pictures managed up in New Hampshire. A melanistic jaguar would be a real possibility though.

    2. Thi black animal u claim would not have been a black mountain lion as there is no such bthing but sounds more like a melanistic jaguar. People have claimed sightings of them in ny for years

  13. Yesterday afternoon about 4, My daughter who is 12 and very into animals started screaming that there was a huge bobcat in the back yard here in Glastonbury. When I got to the window it had run off to the east, we ran outside but it was gone. I started questioning her on the details and she insisted it had a long thin tail, not bushy at all. When she drew the body and tail, my heart stopped, it was a Mt lion tail. We went upstairs and looked at images of coyotes, bobcats, etc until we came up to the image of a Mt Lion and she screamed ‘Oh My God, that’s exactly what I saw’. We called animal control and he took her sketch to show to someone at the State of CT. I don’t doubt her story, I’m going to look for tracks today.

    1. Do not expect them to even hint it was a mountain lion. They will claim its a case of mistaken identity, a dog, or whatever.

  14. I saw a large mountain lion about the third week of November from I-84 behind Stew Leonards in danbury 8:30am.

  15. I tried to post sighting a Puma in my backyard in New Haven 3 or 4 weeks past; but I do not see it. The cat was definitely here.

  16. We think we saw a mountain lion in our area a week ago. Large cat like creature…. ran very quickly into woods (west woods guilford area/durham side). This was around 2:30 in the afternoon. Scary and amazing!

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