Puma

Puma / Cougar / Mountain Lion at Wingham Wildlife Park

Size

Adult males can reach a length of around 7.9 feet, while females are often around 1 foot shorter. This is the 4th largest cat in the world, with weights ranging anywhere from 115 pounds up to 220 pounds (100 Kg).

Habitat and Distribution

This species has a vast range from Canada all the way down to the Andes. Throughout this range it inhabits a huge variety of habitats including any type of forest, scrubland and desert (including both low and high altitude areas).

Age

In the wild this species generally lives to be up to 13 years old, however in captivity they have been reported as getting almost 30 years old.

Diet

This generalistic predator will eat just about anything it can catch, from birds and rodents up to wild boar and large deer. Especially young Pumas may also hone their hunting skills by catching and eating insects. In South America they have also been recorded as feeding on reptiles.

Groups and Breeding

Female Pumas may not become sexually mature until they are almost 3 years old, and will reproduce once every 2 to 3 years after this. The gestation period for this species is 91 days, after which they can give birth to up to 6 cubs (although 2 to 3 is generally more common).

Threats

This species is protected through most of its range with the exception of Ecuador, El Salvador and Guyana, and may be hunted (although this is regulated) in many parts of Canada and the United States. However California is the only US state where its hunting is forbidden, while Texas is the only state where no restrictions are put on the hunting of this species. it is listed as least concern because it has healthy population numbers in many areas in its range, as well as having a very vast and varied range.

Interesting facts

This cat is referred to by many different names including; Puma, Cougar, Mountain Lion, Mountain Cat, Panther and Catamount.