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Mountain Lion Info





KEY FACTS

  • Genus & Species: Felis Concolor

    SIZES:

  • Height: To shoulder, 24-28 in.
  • Length: Body 1-1.6m (3 1/4- 5 1/4ft). Tail: 60-85cm (23 1/2- 33 1/2in).


  • Weight: 80-230 Ib.
  • Cub Weight at Birth: 400 - 500 grames

    BREEDING

  • Sexual maturity: Males, at least 3 years. Females, 2 years.
  • Mating season: Year-round. Females usually breed once every 2 years.
  • Gestation: 90-96 days.
  • Litter size: 2-6, usually 3-4.

    LIFESTYLE


  • Habit: Solitary, generally hunt at dawn and dusk, but active by day in areas undisturbed by man.
  • Diet: Mainly deer, most wild animals.
  • Lifespan: Up to 18 years.
  • Number in the wild: 30,000

    RELATED SPECIES

  • Several subspecies, two endangered: Felis concolor coryi (Florida) and F.c. cougar (northeastern North America).

    DISTRIBUTION

  • Throughout North and South America from southern Canada to Patagonia.

    SUBSPECIES

    Until the late 1980s, as many as 32 subspecies were recorded; however, a recent genetic study of mitochondrial DNA found many of these are too similar to be recognized as distinct at a molecular level. Following the research, the canonical Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.) recognizes six subspecies, five of which are solely found in Latin America:

    1. Argentine cougar (Puma concolor cabrerae) Pocock, 1940:includes the previous subspecies and synonyms hudsonii and puma

    2. Costa Rican cougar (P. c. costaricensis) Merriam, 1901

    3. Eastern South American cougar (P. c. anthonyi) Nelson and Goldman, 1931:includes the previous subspecies and synonyms acrocodia, borbensis, capricornensis, concolor, greeni, and nigra

    4. North American cougar (P. c. couguar) Kerr, 1792:includes the previous subspecies and synonyms arundivaga, aztecus, browni, californica, floridana, hippolestes, improcera, kaibabensis, mayensis, missoulensis, olympus, oregonensis, schorgeri, stanleyana, vancouverensis, and youngi

    5. Northern South American cougar (P. c. concolor) Linnaeus, 1771:includes the previous subspecies and synonyms bangsi, incarum, osgoodi, soasoaranna, sussuarana, soderstromii, suçuaçuara, and wavula

    6.Southern South American cougar (P. c. puma) Molina, 1782:includes the previous subspecies and synonyms araucanus, concolor, patagonica, pearsoni, and puma

    7. Florida panther (P. c. coryi)

    The status of the Florida panther remains uncertain. It is still regularly listed as subspecies P. c. coryi in research works, including those directly concerned with its conservation.Culver et al. noted low microsatellite variation in the Florida panther, possibly due to inbreeding responding to the research, one conservation team suggests, "the degree to which the scientific community has accepted the results of Culver et al. and the proposed change in taxonomy is not resolved at this time.

    CONSERVATION

  • The mountain lion is a protected species, but most farmers and cattle ranchers object to its presence. Many animals are shot to safeguard herds, in spite of evidence that mountain lions rarely attack domestic stock.

    FOOD & HUNTING

    Mountain lions are carnivores (meat eaters) and generally hunt at dawn and dusk. Still, they are active by day in areas undisturbed by man.
    Like other cats, the mountain lion stalks its prey, sprinting after it if it attempts to flee. Then, pouncing on the animal's back with a powerful leap that knocks it to the ground, the mountain lion kills its prey with a single bite to the nape of the neck.
    Mountain lions have large hunting territories, and they eat most kinds of animals. Throughout their range, however, deer is their principal food. In the absence of deer, they eat anything available, including cattle and other domestic livestock.
    Mountain lions can run very fast over short distances, but they tire quickly. If an animal survives a mountain lion's first attack, it generally escapes. Mountain lions rarely share hunting territories and usually avoid each other, but they make no attempt to defend their own territories or take over those of others.

    HABITAT

    Mountain lions are found in habitats as diverse as the cold, northern woods of Canada, the rocky, western country of the United States, and the tropical rainforests of Brazil. In Argentina, they live in the pampas, and their range extends to the southernmost tip of South America.
    Instead of occupying a permanent den, mountain lions rest and find shelter in caves, among rocky outcrops, and in dense vegetation. They generally migrate from the mountains in winter to follow deer and other prey.

    BREEDING

    The territories of male mountain lions may overlap those of females, enabling the males to detect when the females are ready to mate.
    During a 14-day period of mating, a male and female will break their normally solitary habits to hunt together and sleep next to each other. The female later gives birth to two to six kittens in a carefully hidden den, located between rocks or in a cave.
    Blind at birth, the kittens have spotted coats until they are six months old. They begin to take meat provided by their mother at six weeks, while they are still suckling. Although they can hunt for themselves after nine months, they usually remain with their mother for two years. The cubs then leave her and may stay together for several months before wandering off to establish territories of their own.

    MOUNTAIN LION & MAN

    Once common across the western hemisphere, the mountain lion has been eradicated in many areas, and its survival is threatened.
    In some areas, mountain lions were wiped out in an attempt to protect deer populations. But eliminating a natural predator disrupted the balance of the environment. Consequently, the deer multiplied rapidly, and their habitat was unable to support the large population.

    MOUNTAIN LION SIGN

    •  Mountain lion tracks appear round, are approximately 3 to 4 inches in diameter, and the claw marks usually are not visible.

    •  Droppings are 4 to 6 inches in length and 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter, cylindrical, and blunt on the ends. Droppings often have hair and bone fragments visible. They are often covered with dirt.

    •  Cached prey items are a sign that a lion has been in the area and may return again to feed on the cached food.

    •  Lions often leave vertical claw marks on trees, stumps, or fence posts, 4 to 8 feet above the ground.

    •  Lions make a variety of calls or vocalizations. They include: hiss, purr, mew, growl, yowl, chirp and cry.

    WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A MOUNTAIN LION?

    Mountain lions are generally calm, quiet, and elusive. They tend to live in remote, primitive country with plentiful deer and adequate cover. Such conditions exist in mountain subdivisions, urban fringes, and open spaces. Recently, the number of mountain lion/human interactions has increased. This increase is likely due to a variety of reasons, such as:

  • More people moving into lion habitat.

  • Increase in deer populations and density.

  • Presumed increase in lion numbers and expanded range.

  • More people using hiking and running trails in lion habitat.

  • A greater awareness of the presence of lions.

    There's been very little research on how to avoid mountain lion attacks. But mountain lion attacks that have occurred are being analyzed in the hope that some crucial questions can be answered: Did the victim do something to iandvertently provoke an attack? What should a person who is approached by a mountain lion do -- or not do?

  • If you’re hiking with pets, keep them on a leash and close to your group. Roaming pets are open to cougar attacks, or they could irritate a cougar that’s trying to avoid your group. A dog on a leash is also a good warning system that will let you know if a cougar is nearby.

  • Do not hike alone. Go in groups, with adults supervising children. Keep children close to you.
  • Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that the animals seems especially drawn to children.Keep children within your sight at all times.

  • Do not approach a lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

  • Do not run from a lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

  • A Person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. If you're in mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

  • Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Again, pick up small children. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

  • Fight back if attacked. A hiker in Southern California used a rock to fend off a mountain lion that was attacking his son. Others have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.

  • Don't feed wildlife: By feeding deer, raccoons or other wildlife in your yard, you will inadvertently attract mountain lions, which prey upon them.

  • Deer-proof your landscape: Avoid using plants that deer prefer to eat; if your landscaping attracts deer, mountain lions may be close by.

  • Landscape for safety: Remove dense and/or low-lying vegetation that would provide good hiding places for mountain lions, especially around children's play areas; make it difficult for mountain lions to approach your yard unseen.

  • Install outdoor lighting: Keep the perimeter of your house well lit at night - especially along walkways - to keep any approaching mountain lions visible.

  • Keep pets secure: Roaming pets are easy prey for hungry mountain lions. Either bring pets inside or keep them in a kennel with a secure top. Don't feed pets outside; this can attract raccoons and other mountain lion prey.

  • Keep livestock secure: Where practical, place livestock in enclosed sheds and barns at night, and be sure to secure all outbuildings.

  • Keep children safe: Keep a close watch on children whenever they play outdoors. Make sure children are inside before dusk and not outside before dawn. Talk with children about mountain lions and teach them what to do if they encounter one.

  • Do not hike alone: Go in groups, with adults supervising children. If you encounter a mountain lion: --Keep children close to you: Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.

  • Do not approach a lion: Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

  • Do not run from a lion: Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

  • Do not crouch or bend over: If you're in mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

  • Do all you can to appear larger: Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Throw stones, branches or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

  • If you have children, pick them up. Try to pick children up before they panic and run. When you’re picking your children up, keep an eye on the cougar but avoid making direct eye contact with the animal. Try not to bend over too far or turn your back to the cougar.



  • Fight back if attacked More information is available at the Department of Fish and Game's web site at -Click Here-


    DID YOU KNOW?

  • The mountain lion is found over a wider range than any other mammal in the western hemisphere,except for man.
  • Mountain lions vary greatly in size.
  • A mountain lion pounces so violently that it can drag its prey 20 feet along the ground.
  • Mountain Lions have many names, They are also called Cougar,Puma,Catamount,American Lion,Mountain Cat. They Have more names then any other big cats.

    THE MOUNTAIN LION'S AGILITY

    The mountain lion is renowned for its remarkable power, stamina, and agility. It can easily cover 23 ft. in a single bound, and a leap of twice this distance has been recorded.

    Often taking cover in the dense foliage of a tree, a mountain lion can leap up to a height of 18ft to land in the branches. It may then climb upward, looking for a suitable Vantage point. it can drop 65 ft to the ground without injuring itself.


    Legal Status Of Cougar`s In The U.S


  • Cougar`s Paw Print


    The FWC is interested in photos of The Florida Panthers or their tracks.
    Anyone lucky enough to capture this large cat on camera
    is encouraged to submit the picture and sighting location to http://www.MyFWC.com/PantherSightings






    pride_lands@hotmail.com



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