The cougar (puma concolor or “Cat of One Color”) is called by many other names: puma, mountain lion, catamount, and even panther.
Shy and elusive, cougars live solitary lives within a system of mutual avoidance. Males and females interact for breeding when females are about 2 1/2 years old. Giving birth throughout the year, females can have litters of up to four kittens, but only one or two survive. Born spotted, the kittens stay with their mothers for about 18 months, after which time they will leave in search of their own home range. Males weight up to 150 pounds and can measure eight feet long, from nose to end of tail.
In a healthy ecosystem, cougars are a top predator, helping to balance wildlife populations. Deer are their primary food sources, and the presence of deer indicates likely presence of cougars. However, as opportunistic feeders, cougars can survive on a variety of prey including rodents, birds, porcupines, fish and raccoons, as well as livestock and domestic animals. animals.