Geographical Range Southwestern Canada, Western United States, Mexico, Central and South America
Habitat Forests, grasslands, deserts
Scientific Name Puma concolor
Conservation Status Common

Range and habitat

These cats have adapted to numerous habitats, from temperate and tropical forests to grasslands and deserts. Although they are not endangered, they are disappearing from much of their range because of human activity. Conservation threats to the cougar include persecution as pests, environmental degradation, habitat fragmentation and depletion of their prey base.

One cougar subspecies, the Florida panther, is considered endangered under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Act.

Appearance and Characteristics

These cats are graceful hunters. They feed on a variety of animals from small rodents to deer, usually stalking and ambushing their prey at dawn or dusk. Adult pumas usually lead solitary lifestyles although they seek the company of their own kind during mating season.

Female pumas weigh between 70 and 100 pounds, while males weigh between 100 and 145 pounds.

Fun Facts:

  • Pumas can't roar, but their vocalizations do include chirping and purring.
  • Pumas go by several other common names, such as mountain lions, panthers, cougars and catamounts.