Cougar (Puma concolor)

Terry Bailey

Joined January 2011

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The Cougar (Puma concolor) is often referred to as Puma, Mountain Lion, Mountain cat, Catamount or Panther depending on the country or region the animal is in. The (Puma concolor) is a mammal of the family Felidae and is found across the American continent.

This large, solitary cat has the greatest range known of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere that extends from the Yukon in Canada to the Southern Andes in South America; and is the second heaviest cat in the Western Hemisphere, after the Jaguar.

Puma concolor is a capable stalk-and-ambush predator which pursues a wide variey of prey including deer, elk, moose and bighorned sheep. In some case injuried animals may take domestic cattle, small horses (ponies) and sheep or goats. However, when the Puma concolor is hungry itt will eat small animals like rabbits and rodents.

Puma concolor hunts and stalks in areas with dense rocky underbrush, however, it mat also hunt in open areas if no threat is apparent. The territory of individual animals depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. Even though it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species within its range, therefore, it may have to compete for food from other predators such as jaguars, wolves, black or brown bear and even coyote packs.

The Puma concolor usually avoids contact with humans and is usually very reclusive. Due to excessive hunting and the encrouchment of the natural habitat the populations have drastically dropped.

In particular, it was thought that Puma Concolor was extirpated in Eastern North America including Eastern Canada. However, in recent decades, breeding populations have moved east into the far western parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma USA, In addition to the Eastern areas of Canada in particular Ontario, where, I have persoanlly tracked and sighted a number of these reclusive animals.

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