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The cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known as the mountain lion,
puma, panther, or catamount, is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae
native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian
Yukon to the
Andes of South America, is the most widespread of any large
wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable,
generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat
types. It is the second-heaviest cat in the New World, after the
jaguar. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is
properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although daytime
sightings do occur. The cougar is more closely related to
smaller felines, including the domestic cat (subfamily Felinae), than
to any species of subfamily Pantherinae, of which only the
jaguar is native to the Americas.
The cougar is an ambush predator and pursues a wide variety of prey.
Primary food sources are ungulates, particularly deer, but also
livestock. It also hunts species as small as insects and rodents. This
cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for
stalking, but can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial
and survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes
depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While large, it
is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar,
gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and
mostly avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have
recently been increasing in North America as more people enter their
Intensive hunting following European colonization of the
the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations
to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the
North American cougar
North American cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the
beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated Florida panther
subpopulation. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota,
Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Illinois,
where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago and,
in at least one instance, observed as far east as coastal
Connecticut. Reports of eastern cougars (P. c. cougar) still
surface, although it was declared extirpated in 2011.
1 Naming and etymology
2 Taxonomy and evolution
3 Physical characteristics
4 Biology and behavior
4.1 Hunting and diet
4.2 Reproduction and life cycle
4.3 Social structure and home range
5.1 Distribution and habitat
5.3 Ecological role
7 Conservation status
8 Relationships with humans
8.1 In mythology
8.2 In sports
8.4 Attacks on humans
8.4.1 North American subspecies
8.4.2 Other subspecies
9 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
Naming and etymology
With its vast range across the length of the Americas, P. concolor has
dozens of names and various references in the mythology of the
indigenous Americans and in contemporary culture. Currently, it is
referred to as "puma" by most scientists and by the populations in
21 of the 23 countries in the Americas. "Puma" is the common name
in Spanish or Portuguese-speaking countries but the cat has many local
or regional names in the United States and Canada, of which cougar,
puma, mountain lion, and panther are popular. "Mountain lion" was
a term first used in writing in 1858 from the diary of George Andrew
Jackson of Colorado. Other names include catamount (probably a
contraction from "cat of the mountain"), mountain screamer, and
painter. Lexicographers regard painter as a primarily upper-Southern
US regional variant on panther.
P. concolor holds the Guinness record for the animal with the greatest
number of names, with over 40 in English alone.
"Cougar" may be borrowed from the archaic Portuguese çuçuarana; the
term was originally derived from the
Tupi language susua'rana, meaning
"similar to deer (in hair color)". A current form in
suçuarana. It may also be borrowed from the
Guaraní language term
guaçu ara or guazu ara. Less common Portuguese terms are
onça-parda (brown onça, in distinction of the black-spotted [yellow]
one, onça-pintada, the jaguar) or leão-baio (lit. chestnut lion), or
unusually non-native puma or leão-da-montanha, more common names for
the animal when native to a region other than South America
(especially for those who do not know that suçuaranas are found
elsewhere but with a different name). People in rural regions often
refer to both the cougar and the jaguar as simply gata (she-cat), and
outside of the Amazon, both are colloquially referred to as simply
onça by many people (that is also a name for the leopard in Angola).
In the 17th century, German naturalist
Georg Marcgrave named the cat
the cuguacu ara. Marcgrave's rendering was reproduced by his
associate, Dutch naturalist Willem Piso, in 1648. Cuguacu ara was then
adopted by English naturalist
John Ray in 1693. The French
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon in 1774 (probably
influenced by the word "jaguar") converted the cuguacu ara to cuguar,
which was later modified to "cougar" in English.
The first English record of "puma" was in 1777, where it had come from
the Spanish, who in turn borrowed it from the Peruvian Quechua
language in the 16th century, where it means "powerful".
Taxonomy and evolution
Although large, the cougar is more closely related to smaller felines
than to other big cats
Cougars are the largest of the small cats. They are placed in the
subfamily Felinae, although their bulk characteristics are similar to
those of the big cats in the subfamily Pantherinae. The family
Felidae is believed to have originated in Asia about 11 million years
ago. Taxonomic research on felids remains partial, and much of what is
known about their evolutionary history is based on mitochondrial DNA
analysis, as cats are poorly represented in the fossil record,
and significant confidence intervals exist with suggested dates. In
the latest genomic study of the Felidae, the common ancestor of
today's Leopardus, Lynx, Puma, Prionailurus, and
migrated across the Bering land bridge into the
Americas 8.0 to
8.5 million years ago (Mya). The lineages subsequently diverged
in that order. North American felids then invaded South America
2–4 Mya as part of the Great American Interchange, following
formation of the Isthmus of Panama.
Linnaeus placed the cougar in
Felis concolor), the genus which
includes the domestic cat. The cougar is now placed in Puma, and is
most closely related to the jaguarundi, as well as the modern cheetah
of Africa and western Asia, but the relationship is
unresolved. The cheetah lineage is suggested by some studies to have
diverged from the Puma lineage in the
Americas (see American cheetah)
and migrated back to Asia and Africa, while other research
suggests the cheetah diverged in the
Old World itself.
A high level of genetic similarity has been found among North American
cougar populations, suggesting they are all fairly recent descendants
of a small ancestral group. Culver et al. propose the original North
American population of P. concolor was extirpated during the
Pleistocene extinctions some 10,000 years ago, when other large
mammals, such as Smilodon, also disappeared. North America was then
repopulated by a group of
South American cougars.
The jaguarundi, known as the cougar's closest relative, was formerly
placed within the same genus, Puma. It is now most often placed in the
Until the late 1980s, as many as 32 subspecies were recorded; 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.)
recognized six subspecies, five of which were solely found in Latin
Argentine cougar (Puma concolor cabrerae) Pocock, 1940:
includes the previous subspecies and synonyms hudsonii and puma
Costa Rican cougar
Costa Rican cougar (P. c. costaricensis) Merriam, 1901
South American cougar
South American cougar (P. c. anthonyi) Nelson and Goldman,
includes the previous subspecies and synonyms acrocodia, borbensis,
capricornensis, concolor, greeni, and nigra
North American cougar
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
Northern South American cougar
Northern South American cougar (P. c. concolor) Linnaeus, 1771:
includes the previous subspecies and synonyms bangsi, incarum,
osgoodi, soasoaranna, sussuarana, soderstromii, suçuaçuara, and
South American cougar
South American cougar (P. c. puma) Molina, 1782:
includes the previous subspecies and synonyms araucanus, concolor,
patagonica, pearsoni, and puma (Trouessart, 1904)
As of 2017, the
Cat Classification Taskforce of the
Group recognizes only two subspecies: P. c. concolor and P. c.
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 use of genetics in puma taxonomy is not
resolved at this time."
Close-up of face
Cougar skull and jawbone
Rear paw of a cougar
Front paw print of a cougar. An adult paw print is approximately
10 cm (3.9 in) long.
Although cougars somewhat resemble the domestic cat, they are about
the same size as an adult human
Cougars are slender and agile members of the family Felidae. They are
the fourth-largest cat; adults stand about 60 to 90 cm (24 to
35 in) tall at the shoulders. Adult males are around
2.4 m (7.9 ft) long from nose to tail tip, and females
average 2.05 m (6.7 ft), with overall ranges between 1.50 to
2.75 m (4.9 to 9.0 ft) nose to tail suggested for the
species in general. Of this length, 63 to 95 cm (25 to
37 in) is comprised by the tail. Males typically weigh 53 to
100 kg (117 to 220 lb), averaging 62 kg (137 lb).
Females typically weigh between 29 and 64 kg (64 and
141 lb), averaging 42 kg (93 lb). Cougar
size is smallest close to the equator, and larger towards the
poles. The largest recorded cougar, shot in 1901, weighed
105.2 kg (232 lb); claims of 125.2 kg (276 lb) and
118 kg (260 lb) have been reported, though they were most
likely exaggerated. On average, adult male cougars in British
Columbia weigh 56.7 kg (125 lb) and adult females
45.4 kg (100 lb), though several male cougars in British
Columbia weighed between 86.4 and 95.5 kg (190 and
The head of the cat is round and the ears are erect. Its powerful
forequarters, neck, and jaw serve to grasp and hold large prey. It has
five retractable claws on its forepaws (one a dewclaw) and four on its
hind paws. The larger front feet and claws are adaptations to
Cougars can be almost as large as jaguars, but are less muscular and
not as powerfully built; where their ranges overlap, the cougar tends
to be smaller on average. The cougar is on average larger than all
felids apart from lions, tigers, and jaguars. Despite its size, it is
not typically classified among the "big cats", as it cannot roar,
lacking the specialized larynx and hyoid apparatus of Panthera.
Compared to "big cats", cougars are often silent with minimal
communication through vocalizations outside of the mother-offspring
relationship. Cougars sometimes voice low-pitched hisses, growls,
and purrs, as well as chirps and whistles, many of which are
comparable to those of domestic cats. They are well known for their
screams, as referenced in some of their common names, although these
screams are often misinterpreted to be the calls of other animals or
Cougar coloring is plain (hence the
Latin concolor) but can vary
greatly between individuals and even between siblings. The coat is
typically tawny, but ranges to silvery-grey or reddish, with lighter
patches on the underbody, including the jaws, chin, and throat.
Infants are spotted and born with blue eyes and rings on their
tails; juveniles are pale, and dark spots remain on their
flanks. Despite anecdotes to the contrary, all-black coloring
(melanism) has never been documented in cougars. The term "black
panther" is used colloquially to refer to melanistic individuals of
other species, particularly jaguars and leopards.
Cougars have large paws and proportionally the largest hind legs in
Felidae. This physique allows it great leaping and short-sprint
ability. The cougar's top running speed ranges between 64 and
80 km/h (40 and 50 mph), but is best adapted for
short, powerful sprints rather than long chases. It is adept at
climbing, which allows it to evade canine competitors. Although it is
not strongly associated with water, it can swim.
Biology and behavior
Hunting and diet
A successful generalist predator, the cougar will eat any animal it
can catch, from insects to large ungulates (over 500 kg
(1,100 lb)). Like other cats, it is an obligate carnivore,
meaning it needs to feed exclusively on meat to survive. The mean
weight of vertebrate prey (MWVP) that pumas attack increases with the
puma's body weight; in general, MWVP is lower in areas closer to the
equator. Its most important prey species are various deer species,
particularly in North America; mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and
even bull moose are taken. Other species such as the bighorn and
Dall's sheep, horse, fallow deer, caribou, mountain goat, coyote,
pronghorn, and domestic livestock such as cattle and sheep are also
primary food bases in many areas. A survey of North America
research found 68% of prey items were ungulates, especially deer. Only
Florida panther showed variation, often preferring feral hogs and
A captive cougar feeding. Cougars are ambush predators, feeding mostly
on deer and other mammals.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park showed that elk, followed
by mule deer, were the cougar's primary targets; the prey base is
shared with the park's gray wolves, with which the cougar competes for
resources. Another study on winter kills (November–April) in
Alberta showed that ungulates accounted for greater than 99% of the
cougar diet. Learned, individual prey recognition was observed, as
some cougars rarely killed bighorn sheep, while others relied heavily
on the species.
In Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, scat samples showed raccoons to
make up 28% of the cougar's diet, harbor seals and blacktail deer 24%
each, North American river otters 10%,
California sea lion
California sea lion 7%, and
American mink 4%; the remaining 3% were unidentified.
In the Central and
South American cougar
South American cougar range, the ratio of deer in
the diet declines. Small to mid-sized mammals are preferred, including
large rodents such as the capybara. Ungulates accounted for only 35%
of prey items in one survey, about half that of North America.
Competition with the larger jaguar has been suggested for the decline
in the size of prey items. Other listed prey species of the cougar
include mice, porcupines, beavers, raccoons, hares, guanaco, peccary,
vicuna, rhea, and wild turkey. Birds and small reptiles are
sometimes preyed upon in the south, but this is rarely recorded in
Though capable of sprinting, the cougar is typically an ambush
predator. It stalks through brush and trees, across ledges, or other
covered spots, before delivering a powerful leap onto the back of its
prey and a suffocating neck bite. The cougar is capable of breaking
the neck of some of its smaller prey with a strong bite and momentum
bearing the animal to the ground.
Kills are generally estimated around one large ungulate every two
weeks. The period shrinks for females raising young, and may be as
short as one kill every three days when cubs are nearly mature around
15 months. The cat drags a kill to a preferred spot, covers it
with brush, and returns to feed over a period of days. The cougar is
generally reported to not be a scavenger, and rarely consumes prey it
has not killed, but deer carcasses left exposed for study were
scavenged by cougars in California, suggesting more opportunistic
Reproduction and life cycle
North American cougar
North American cougar cub at Malibu Springs
Females reach sexual maturity between one-and-a-half to three years of
age. They typically average one litter every two to three years
throughout their reproductive lives, though the period can be as
short as one year. Females are in estrus for about 8 days of a
23-day cycle; the gestation period is approximately 91 days.
Females are sometimes reported as monogamous, but this is
uncertain and polygyny may be more common. Copulation is brief but
frequent. Chronic stress can result in low reproductive rates when in
captivity as well as in the field.
Only females are involved in parenting. Female cougars are fiercely
protective of their cubs, and have been seen to successfully fight off
animals as large as Grizzly bears in their defense. Litter size is
between one and six cubs; typically two. Caves and other alcoves that
offer protection are used as litter dens. Born blind, cubs are
completely dependent on their mother at first, and begin to be weaned
at around three months of age. As they grow, they begin to go out on
forays with their mother, first visiting kill sites, and after six
months beginning to hunt small prey on their own. Kitten survival
rates are just over one per litter. When cougars are born, they
have spots, but they lose them as they grow, and by the age of
2 1/2 years, they will be completely gone Sub-adult juveniles
remain with their mothers at least for two years.
Young adults leave their mother to attempt to establish their own
territory at around two years of age and sometimes earlier; males tend
to leave sooner. One study has shown high mortality amongst cougars
that travel farthest from the maternal range, often due to conflicts
with other cougars (intraspecific competition). Research in New
Mexico has shown that "males dispersed significantly farther than
females, were more likely to traverse large expanses of non-cougar
habitat, and were probably most responsible for nuclear gene flow
between habitat patches."
Life expectancy in the wild is reported at eight to 13 years, and
probably averages eight to 10; a female of at least 18 years was
reported killed by hunters on Vancouver Island. Cougars may live
as long as 20 years in captivity. One male
North American cougar
North American cougar (P.
c. couguar), named Scratch, was two months short of his 30th birthday
when he died in 2007. Causes of death in the wild include
disability and disease, competition with other cougars, starvation,
accidents, and, where allowed, human hunting. Feline immunodeficiency
virus, an endemic HIV-like virus in cats, is well-adapted to the
Social structure and home range
Like almost all cats, the cougar is a solitary animal. Only mothers
and kittens live in groups, with adults meeting rarely. While
generally loners, cougars will reciprocally share kills with one
another and seem to organize themselves into small communities defined
by the territories of dominant males. Cats within these areas
socialize more frequently with each other than with outsiders.
Estimates of territory sizes for cougars vary greatly. Canadian
Geographic reports large male territories of 150 to 1000 km2 (58
to 386 sq mi) with female ranges half the size. Other
research suggests a much smaller lower limit of 25 km2
(10 sq mi), but an even greater upper limit of 1300 km2
(500 sq mi) for males. In the United States, very large
ranges have been reported in Texas and the
Black Hills of the northern
Great Plains, in excess of 775 km2 (300 sq mi).
Male ranges may include or overlap with those of females but, at least
where studied, not with those of other males, which serves to reduce
conflict between cougars. Ranges of females may overlap slightly with
each other. Scrape marks, urine, and feces are used to mark territory
and attract mates. Males may scrape together a small pile of leaves
and grasses and then urinate on it as a way of marking territory.
Home range sizes and overall cougar abundance depend on terrain,
vegetation, and prey abundance. One female adjacent to the San
Andres Mountains, for instance, was found with a large range of
215 km2 (83 sq mi), necessitated by poor prey
abundance. Research has shown cougar abundances from 0.5 animals
to as much as 7 (in one study in South America) per 100 km2
(38 sq mi).
Because males disperse farther than females and compete more directly
for mates and territory, they are most likely to be involved in
conflict. Where a subadult fails to leave his maternal range, for
example, he may be killed by his father. When males encounter each
other, they hiss, spit, and may engage in violent conflict if neither
backs down. Hunting or relocation of the cougar may increase
aggressive encounters by disrupting territories and bringing young,
transient animals into conflict with established individuals.
Distribution and habitat
A camera trap image of a cougar in Saguaro National Park, Arizona
The cougar has the largest range of any wild land animal in the
Americas. Its range spans 110 degrees of latitude, from northern Yukon
in Canada to the southern Andes. Its wide distribution stems from its
adaptability to virtually every habitat type: it is found in all
forest types, as well as in lowland and mountainous deserts. The
cougar prefers regions with dense underbrush, but can live with little
vegetation in open areas. Its preferred habitats include
precipitous canyons, escarpments, rim rocks, and dense brush.
The cougar was extirpated across much of its eastern North American
range (with the exception of Florida) in the two centuries after
European colonization, and faced grave threats in the remainder of its
territory. Currently, it ranges across most western American states,
the Canadian provinces of Alberta,
Saskatchewan and British Columbia,
and the Canadian territory of Yukon. There have been widely debated
reports of possible recolonization of eastern North America. DNA
evidence has suggested its presence in eastern North America,
while a consolidated map of cougar sightings shows numerous reports,
from the mid-western
Great Plains through to eastern Canada. The
Quebec wildlife services (known locally as MRNF) also considers cougar
to be present in the province as a threatened species after multiple
DNA tests confirmed cougar hair in lynx mating sites. The only
unequivocally known eastern population is the Florida panther, which
is critically endangered. There have been unconfirmed sightings in
Elliotsville Plantation, Maine (north of Monson); and in New
Hampshire, there have been unconfirmed sightings as early as 1997.
In 2009, the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed a
cougar sighting in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Typically,
extreme-range sightings of cougars involve young males, which can
travel great distances to establish ranges away from established
males; all four confirmed cougar kills in
Iowa since 2000 involved
On April 14, 2008, police shot and killed a cougar on the north side
of Chicago, Illinois.
DNA tests were consistent with cougars from the
Black Hills of South Dakota. Less than a year later, on March 5,
2009, a cougar was photographed and unsuccessfully tranquilized by
state wildlife biologists in a tree near Spooner, Wisconsin, in the
northwestern part of the state.
Other eastern sightings since 2010 have occurred in locations such as
Greene County, Indiana, Greenwich and Milford,
Connecticut, Morgan County Pike County, and Whiteside
County, Illinois, and Bourbon County, Kentucky.
In Tennessee, no confirmed sightings had been made since the early
1900s. The first confirmed sighting in a century was made on September
20, 2015, in Obion county in the north-western corner of West
Tennessee. Six days later, and about 35 miles to the south-east, a
hair sample was found in Carroll County;
DNA analysis revealed that it
was from a female genetically similar to
South Dakota cougars. Since
then there have been at least eight additional confirmed sightings in
the state; all were immediately east of the
Tennessee River in Middle
Tennessee: initially in Humphreys county and on September 4, 2016
further south in Wayne county.
South of the Rio Grande, the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN) lists the cat in every Central and South American
country. While specific state and provincial statistics are often
available in North America, much less is known about the cat in its
The cougar's total breeding population is estimated at less than
50,000 by the IUCN, with a declining trend. US state-level
statistics are often more optimistic, suggesting cougar populations
have rebounded. In Oregon, a healthy population of 5,000 was reported
in 2006, exceeding a target of 3,000.
California has actively
sought to protect the cat and a similar number of cougars has been
suggested, between 4,000 and 6,000.
In 2012 research in Río Los Cipreses National Reserve, Chile, based
in 18 motion-sensitive cameras counted a population of two males and
two females, one of them with at least two cubs, in an area of
600 km2, that is 0.63 cougars every 100 km2.
With the increase of human development and infrastructure growth in
California, the North American
Cougar populations are becoming more
isolated from one another.
Juvenile cougars in conflict with coyotes at National
Aside from humans, no species preys upon mature cougars in the wild,
although conflicts with other predators or scavengers occur. The
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park ecosystem provides a fruitful microcosm to
study inter-predator interaction in North America. Of the three large
predators, the massive grizzly bear appears dominant, often although
not always able to drive both the gray wolf pack and the cougar off
their kills. One study found that grizzlies and American black bears
visited 24% of cougar kills in
Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks,
usurping 10% of carcasses. Bears gained up to 113%, and cougars lost
up to 26%, of their respective daily energy requirements from these
Colorado and California, black bears were found to
visit 48% and 77% of kills respectively. In general, cougars are
subordinate to black bears when it comes to kills and when bears are
most active, the cats take prey more frequently and spend less time
feeding on each kill. In addition, unlike several subordinate
predators from other ecosystems, cougars do not appear to take
advantage of spatial or temporal refuges to avoid their
The gray wolf and the cougar compete more directly for prey, mostly in
winter. Wolves can steal kills and occasionally kill the cat. One
report describes a large pack of 7 to 11 wolves killing a female
cougar and her kittens. Conversely, lone female wolves are
vulnerable to predation, and have been reported ambushed and killed by
cougars. Various accounts of cougars killing lone female wolves,
including a six-year-old female, have also been
documented. Wolves more broadly affect cougar
population dynamics and distribution by dominating territory and prey
opportunities, and disrupting the feline's behavior. Preliminary
research in Yellowstone, for instance, has shown displacement of the
cougar by wolves. In nearby Sun Valley, Idaho, a cougar/wolf
encounter that resulted in the death of the cougar was
documented. One researcher in
Oregon noted: "When there is a pack
around, cougars are not comfortable around their kills or raising
kittens ... A lot of times a big cougar will kill a wolf, but the
pack phenomenon changes the table."
Both species, meanwhile, are capable of killing mid-sized predators,
such as bobcats and coyotes, and tend to suppress their numbers.
Although cougars can kill coyotes, the latter have been documented
attempting to prey on cougar cubs.
In the southern portion of its range, the cougar and jaguar share
overlapping territory. The jaguar tends to take larger prey and
the cougar smaller where they overlap, reducing the cougar's size and
also further reducing the likelihood of direct competition. Of the
two felines, the cougar appears best able to exploit a broader prey
niche and smaller prey.
As with any predator at or near the top of its food chain, the cougar
impacts the population of prey species. Predation by cougars has been
linked to changes in the species mix of deer in a region. For example,
a study in
British Columbia observed that the population of mule deer,
a favored cougar prey, was declining while the population of the less
frequently preyed-upon white-tailed deer was increasing. The
Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species endemic to one region
of dense cougar population, has seen decreased numbers due to cougar
and gray wolf predation. Nevertheless, there is a measurable
effect on the quality of deer populations by puma predation.
In the southern part of South America, the puma is a top level
predator that has controlled the population of guanaco and other
species since prehistoric times. Cougars also prey on bear
Pumapard, photographed in 1904
Main article: Pumapard
A pumapard is a hybrid animal resulting from a union between a cougar
and a leopard. Whether born to a female puma mated to a male leopard,
or to a male puma mated to a female leopard, pumapards inherit a form
of dwarfism. Those reported grew to only half the size of the parents.
They have a puma-like long body (proportional to the limbs, but
nevertheless shorter than either parent), but short legs. The coat is
variously described as sandy, tawny or greyish with brown, chestnut or
At a zoological park
World Conservation Union
World Conservation Union (IUCN) currently lists the cougar as a
"least concern" species. The cougar is regulated under Appendix I
of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (CITES), rendering illegal international trade in
specimens or parts.
In the United States east of the Mississippi River, the only
unequivocally known cougar population is the Florida panther. Until
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recognized
Eastern cougar (claimed to be a subspecies by some, denied by
others) and the Florida panther, affording protection under
the Endangered Species Act. Certain taxonomic authorities
have collapsed both designations into the North American cougar, with
Eastern or Florida subspecies not recognized, while a subspecies
designation remains recognized by some conservation scientists. In
2003 the documented count for the Florida sub-population was 87
individuals. In March 2011, the USFWS declared the Eastern cougar
extinct. With the taxonomic uncertainty about its existence as a
subspecies as well as the possibility of eastward migration of cougars
from the western range, the subject remains open.
This uncertainty has been recognized by Canadian authorities. The
Canadian federal agency called Committee on the Status of Endangered
Wildlife in Canada rates its current data as "insufficient" to draw
conclusions regarding the eastern cougar's survival, and says on its
Web site "Despite many sightings in the past two decades from eastern
Canada, there are insufficient data to evaluate the taxonomy or assign
a status to this cougar." Notwithstanding numerous reported sightings
in Ontario, Quebec,
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, it has been said
that the evidence is inconclusive: ". . . there may not be a distinct
'eastern' subspecies, and some sightings may be of escaped
The cougar is also protected across much of the rest of its range. As
of 1996, cougar hunting was prohibited in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia,
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras,
Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and Uruguay. The cat
had no reported legal protection in Ecuador, El Salvador, and
Guyana. Regulated cougar hunting is still common in the United
States and Canada, although they are protected from all hunting in the
Yukon; it is permitted in every U.S. state from the
Rocky Mountains to
the Pacific Ocean, with the exception of California. Texas is the only
state in the United States with a viable population of cougars that
does not protect that population in some way. In Texas, cougars are
listed as nuisance wildlife and any person holding a hunting or a
trapping permit can kill a cougar regardless of the season, number
killed, sex or age of the animal. Killed animals are not required
to be reported to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Conservation
work in Texas is the effort of a non-profit organization, Balanced
Ecology Inc. (BEI), as part of their Texas Mountain
Project. Cougars are generally hunted with packs of dogs, until
the animal is 'treed'. When the hunter arrives on the scene, he shoots
the cat from the tree at close range. The cougar cannot be legally
killed without a permit in
California except under very specific
circumstances, such as when a cougar is in act of pursuing livestock
or domestic animals, or is declared a threat to public safety.
Permits are issued when owners can prove property damage on their
livestock or pets. For example, multiple dogs have been attacked and
killed, sometimes while with the owner. Many attribute this to the
protection cougars have from being hunted and are now becoming
desensitized to humans; most are removed from the population after the
attacks have already occurred. Statistics from the Department of Fish
and Game indicate that cougar killings in
California have been on the
rise since the 1970s with an average of over 112 cats killed per year
from 2000 to 2006 compared to six per year in the 1970s. They also
state on their website that there is a healthy number of cougars in
Bay Area Puma Project aims to obtain information on
cougar populations in the San Francisco Bay area and the animals'
interactions with habitat, prey, humans, and residential
Conservation threats to the species include persecution as a pest
animal, environmental degradation and habitat fragmentation, and
depletion of their prey base. Wildlife corridors and sufficient range
areas are critical to the sustainability of cougar populations.
Research simulations have shown that the animal faces a low extinction
risk in areas of 2200 km2 (850 sq mi) or more. As few
as one to four new animals entering a population per decade markedly
increases persistence, foregrounding the importance of habitat
On March 2, 2011, the
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared
Eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) officially extinct.
Relationships with humans
A Boeing 727 from the now-defunct
The grace and power of the cougar have been widely admired in the
cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Inca city of
Cusco is reported to have been designed in the shape of a cougar, and
the animal also gave its name to both Inca regions and people. The
Moche people represented the puma often in their ceramics. The
sky and thunder god of the Inca, Viracocha, has been associated with
In North America, mythological descriptions of the cougar have
appeared in the stories of the
Hocąk language ("Ho-Chunk" or
Wisconsin and Illinois and the Cheyenne, amongst
others. To the
Walapai of Arizona, the wail of the cougar
was a harbinger of death. The Algonquins and Ojibwe believe that
the cougar lived in the underworld and was wicked, whereas it was a
sacred animal among the Cherokee.
Several college sports teams, such as Brigham Young University and the
University of Houston, as well as some high schools, have chosen the
cougar as their mascot.
During the early years of ranching, cougars were considered on par
with wolves in destructiveness. According to figures in Texas in 1990,
86 calves (0.0006% of a total of 13.4 million cattle & calves
in Texas), 253 Mohair goats, 302 Mohair kids, 445 sheep (0.02% of a
total of 2.0 million sheep & lambs in Texas) and 562 lambs
(0.04% of 1.2 million lambs in Texas) were confirmed to have been
killed by cougars that year. In Nevada in 1992, cougars were
confirmed to have killed 9 calves, 1 horse, 4 foals, 5 goats, 318
sheep and 400 lambs. In both cases, sheep were the most frequently
attacked. Some instances of surplus killing have resulted in the
deaths of 20 sheep in one attack. A cougar's killing bite is
applied to the back of the neck, head, or throat and they inflict
puncture marks with their claws usually seen on the sides and
underside of the prey, sometimes also shredding the prey as they hold
on. Coyotes also typically bite the throat region but do not inflict
the claw marks and farmers will normally see the signature zig-zag
pattern that coyotes create as they feed on the prey whereas cougars
typically drag in a straight line. The work of a cougar is generally
clean, differing greatly from the indiscriminate mutilation by coyotes
and feral dogs. The size of the tooth puncture marks also helps
distinguish kills made by cougars from those made by smaller
Remedial hunting appears to have the paradoxical effect of increased
livestock predation and complaints of human-puma conflicts. In a 2013
study the most important predictor of puma problems were remedial
hunting of puma the previous year. Each additional puma on the
landscape increased predation and human-puma complaints by 5% but each
additional animal killed on the landscape the previous year increased
complaints by 50%, an order of magnitude higher. The effect had a
dose-response relationship with very heavy (100% removal of adult
puma) remedial hunting leading to a 150% – 340% increase in
livestock and human conflicts. This effect is attributed to the
fact that inexperienced younger male pumas are most likely to approach
human developments, whereas remedial hunting removes older pumas who
have learned to avoid people in their established territories.
Remedial hunting enables younger males to enter the former territories
of the older animals.
Attacks on humans
North American subspecies
See also: List of fatal cougar attacks in North America
Lion warning sign in California, USA.
The pertinent North American subspecies is P. concolor couguar.
Due to the expanding human population, cougar ranges increasingly
overlap with areas inhabited by humans. Attacks on humans are very
rare, as cougar prey recognition is a learned behavior and they do not
generally recognize humans as prey. In a 10-year study in New
Mexico of wild cougars who were not habituated to humans, the animals
did not exhibit threatening behavior to researchers who approached
closely (median distance=18.5 m; 61 feet) except in 6% of cases; 14/16
of those were females with cubs. Attacks on people, livestock,
and pets may occur when a puma habituates to humans or is in a
condition of severe starvation. Attacks are most frequent during late
spring and summer, when juvenile cougars leave their mothers and
search for new territory.
Between 1890 and 1990, in North America there were 53 reported,
confirmed attacks on humans, resulting in 48 nonfatal injuries and 10
deaths of humans (the total is greater than 53 because some attacks
had more than one victim). By 2004, the count had climbed to 88
attacks and 20 deaths.
Within North America, the distribution of attacks is not uniform. The
heavily populated state of
California has seen a dozen attacks since
1986 (after just three from 1890 to 1985), including three
fatalities. Lightly populated
New Mexico reported an attack in
2008, the first there since 1974.
As with many predators, a cougar may attack if cornered, if a fleeing
human stimulates their instinct to chase, or if a person "plays dead".
Standing still may cause the cougar to consider a person easy
prey. Exaggerating the threat to the animal through intense eye
contact, loud shouting, and any other action to appear larger and more
menacing, may make the animal retreat. Fighting back with sticks and
rocks, or even bare hands, is often effective in persuading an
attacking cougar to disengage.
When cougars do attack, they usually employ their characteristic neck
bite, attempting to position their teeth between the vertebrae and
into the spinal cord. Neck, head, and spinal injuries are common and
sometimes fatal. Children are at greatest risk of attack, and
least likely to survive an encounter. Detailed research into attacks
prior to 1991 showed that 64% of all victims – and almost all
fatalities – were children. The same study showed the highest
proportion of attacks to have occurred in British Columbia,
Vancouver Island where cougar populations are
especially dense. Preceding attacks on humans, cougars display
aberrant behavior, such as activity during daylight hours, a lack of
fear of humans, and stalking humans. There have sometimes been
incidents of pet cougars mauling people.
Research on new wildlife collars may be able to reduce human-animal
conflicts by predicting when and where predatory animals hunt. This
can not only save human lives and the lives of their pets and
livestock but also save these large predatory mammals that are
important to the balance of ecosystems.
Pumas in the
Southern cone of America — often called Argentine
cougars by North Americans — are reputed to be extremely reluctant
to attack man; in legend, they defended people against jaguars.
The nineteenth century naturalists Félix de Azara and William
Henry Hudson thought that attacks on people, even children or
sleeping adults, did not happen; Hudson, citing anecdotal evidence
from hunters, claimed that pumas were positively inhibited from
attacking people, even in self-defense. In fact, attacks on humans,
although exceedingly rare, have occurred.
An early, authenticated, non-fatal case occurred near Lake Viedma,
Patagonia in 1877 when a female mauled the Argentine scientist
Francisco P. Moreno; Moreno afterwards showed the scars to Theodore
Roosevelt. In this instance, however, Moreno had been wearing a
guanaco-hide poncho round his neck and head as protection against the
cold; in Patagonia the guanaco is the puma's chief prey
animal. Another authenticated case occurred In 1997 in Iguazú
National Park, north east
Argentina when the 20-month son of a ranger
was killed by a female puma. Forensic analysis found specimens of the
child's hair and clothing fibers in the animal's stomach. In this area
the coatí is the puma's chief prey. Despite prohibitory signs, coatis
are hand-fed by tourists in the park; this causes unnatural
approximation between humans and the coati's (unseen) predators. This
particular puma had been raised in captivity and released into the
wild. In 2012 a 23-year old woman was found dead in a mountainous
area in Salta Province, northwest Argentina. Claw incisions, which
severed a jugular vein, established the attack was felid; non-puma
perpetrators were ruled out by differential diagnosis. There were
no bite marks on the victim, who had been in charge of a herd of
Fatal attacks by other carnivores e.g. feral dogs can be misattributed
to pumas, absent appropriate forensic knowledge.
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newspaper La Tercera, Investigación midió por primera vez población
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Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota
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^ Busch, Robert H. The
Cougar Almanac. New York, 2000, pg 94.
^ Servheen, C.; Herrero, S.; Peyton, B. (1999). Bears: Status Survey
and Conservation Action Plan (PDF). Missoula, Montana: IUCN/SSC Bear
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Multiple names: authors list (link)
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Pumas and People (Hardcover ed.). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.
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Development of Inca State and Religion". Electronic Journal of
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Encyclopedia of Hočąk (Winnebago) Mythology. Retrieved: 2009/12/08.
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of Magical Creatures. HarperElement. p. 364.
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September 11, 2009.
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^ Peebles, Kaylie A.; Wielgus, Robert B.; Maletzke, Benjamin T.;
Swanson, Mark E. (November 2013). "Effects of Remedial Sport Hunting
Cougar Complaints and
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e79713. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...879713P. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079713.
PMC 3834330 . PMID 24260291.
^ Beier, Paul (1991). "
Cougar attacks on humans in the United States
and Canada". Wildlife Society Bulletin. 19: 403–412.
^ Torres SG; Mansfield TM; Foley JE; Lupo T; Brinkhaus A (1996).
"Mountain lion and human activity in California: testing
speculations". Wildlife Society Bulletin. 24 (3): 451–460.
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Bulletin. The Wildlife Society. 33 (3): 905–913. Retrieved March 17,
^ a b Beier, Paul (1991). "
Cougar attacks on humans in United States
and Canada". Wildlife Society Bulletin. Northern Arizon University.
Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved May 20,
^ "Confirmed mountain lion attacks in the United States and Canada
1890 – present".
Arizona Game and Fish Department. Archived from the
original on May 18, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish: Search continues for
mountain lion that killed Pinos Altos man, June 23, 2008; Wounded
mountain lion captured, killed near Pinos Altos, June 25, 2008; Second
mountain lion captured near Pinos Altos, July 1, 2008
^ Subramanian, Sushma (April 14, 2009). "Should You Run or Freeze When
You See a Mountain Lion?". Scientific American. Archived from the
original on March 19, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
^ "Neighbor saves Miami teen from cougar". MSNBC. Associated Press.
November 16, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
^ "2-Year-Old Boy Hurt In Pet
Cougar Attack". New York Times. June 4,
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research funding" Archived November 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
Los Angeles Times
^ Chébez, Juan Carlos; Nigro, Roberto Ángel. "APORTES PRELIMINARES
PARA UN PLAN DE CONSERVACIÓN Y MANEJO DEL PUMA (Puma concolor) EN LA
REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 February
^ Azara, Félix de (1838). The Natural History of the Quadrupeds of
Paraguay and the River la Plata. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black.
pp. 207–8. I have not heard that they have assaulted or
attempted to assault man, nor dogs and boys, even when it encounters
^ Hudson, W. H. (1892). The Naturalist in La Plata. London: Chapman
and Hall Ltd. pp. 31–49. Retrieved 15 February 2018. This,
however, is not a full statement of the facts; the puma will not even
defend itself against man
^ Roosevelt, Theodore (1914). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. New
York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 27–8. Retrieved 15 February
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American Cat. New York: Dover Publications Inc. pp. 99,
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York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 26–31. Retrieved 15 February
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Andrés J.; Gould, Matthew J.; Caragiulo, Anthony. "Response of pumas
(Puma concolor) to migration of their primary prey in Patagonia". PLOS
ONE. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
^ Faletti, Dra. Alicia (2013). "Caso Ignacio Terán Luna". Revista
QuímicaViva (in Spanish). 12 (2). ISSN 1666-7948. Retrieved 16
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"Ataque fatal en humano, por puma (Puma concolor)". Cuadernos de
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^ Fonseca, Gabriel M.; Palacios, Rocío (2013). "An Unusual Case of
Dog Pack or
Cougar Attack?". Journal of Forensic Sciences.
58 (1): 224–227. Retrieved 23 February 2018. (victim in
Argentina killed by dog pack; local police
attributed death to puma; forensic team established perpetrators by
Baron, David (2004). The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man
and Nature. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.
Bolgiano, Chris (2001). Mountain Lion:An Unnatural History of Pumas
and People (Paperback ed.). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.
Eberhart, George M. (2002). Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to
Cryptozoology. Volume 2. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
pp. 153–161. ISBN 1-57607-283-5.
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Ecology and Conservation (Hardcover ed.). Chicago: University of
Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-35344-9.
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Books Ltd. ISBN 1-55209-172-4.
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America" (PDF). North American BioFortean Review. Zoological
Miscellania website. 3 (7): 15–17.
Logan, Ken; Linda Sweanor (2001). Desert Puma: Evolutionary Ecology
and Conservation of an Enduring Carnivore. Island Press.
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Cat of the
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Predator Control in the
American West. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
"Annotated Bibliography". easterncougar.org –
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Species portrait Puma concolor; IUCN/SSC
Cat Specialist Group
Cougar Tracks: How to identify cougar tracks in the wild
Puma sounds (they growl, hiss and scream but cannot roar like true
lions of the genus Panthera) at National Geographic Society
Santa Cruz Puma Project
Eastern Puma Research Network
Felidae Conservation Fund
Cougar Rewilding Foundation, formerly "Eastern
Cougar Network --Using Science to Understand
Lion Foundation – Saving America's Lion
SaveTheCougar.org: Sightings of cougars in Michigan
Cougar Fund – Protecting America's Greatest Cat. A Definitive
Resource About Cougars] Comprehensive, non-profit
501(c)(3) site with
extensive information about cougars, from how to live safely in cougar
country, to science abstracts, hunting regulations, state-by-state
cougar management/policy info, and rare photos and videos of wild
California Mountain Lions
African palm civet
African palm civet (N. binotata)
Marsh mongoose (A. paludinosus)
Bushy-tailed mongoose (B. crassicauda)
Jackson's mongoose (B. jacksoni)
Black-footed mongoose (B. nigripes)
Alexander's kusimanse (C. alexandri)
Angolan kusimanse (C. ansorgei)
Common kusimanse (C. obscurus)
Flat-headed kusimanse (C. platycephalus)
Yellow mongoose (C. penicillata)
Pousargues's mongoose (D. dybowskii)
Angolan slender mongoose
Angolan slender mongoose (G. flavescens)
Black mongoose (G. nigrata)
Somalian slender mongoose
Somalian slender mongoose (G. ochracea)
Cape gray mongoose
Cape gray mongoose (G. pulverulenta)
Slender mongoose (G. sanguinea)
Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
Ethiopian dwarf mongoose (H. hirtula)
Common dwarf mongoose
Common dwarf mongoose (H. parvula)
Short-tailed mongoose (H. brachyurus)
Indian gray mongoose
Indian gray mongoose (H. edwardsii)
Indian brown mongoose
Indian brown mongoose (H. fuscus)
Egyptian mongoose (H. ichneumon)
Small Asian mongoose
Small Asian mongoose (H. javanicus)
Long-nosed mongoose (H. naso)
Collared mongoose (H. semitorquatus)
Ruddy mongoose (H. smithii)
Crab-eating mongoose (H. urva)
Stripe-necked mongoose (H. vitticollis)
White-tailed mongoose (I. albicauda)
Liberian mongoose (L. kuhni)
Gambian mongoose (M. gambianus)
Banded mongoose (M. mungo)
Selous' mongoose (P. selousi)
Meller's mongoose (R. melleri)
Meerkat (S. suricatta)
Spotted hyena (C. crocuta)
Brown hyena (H. brunnea)
Striped hyena (H. hyaena)
Aardwolf (P. cristatus)
Large family listed below
Large family listed below
Small family listed below
Cheetah (A. jubatus)
Caracal (C. caracal)
African golden cat
African golden cat (C. aurata)
Bay cat (C. badia)
Asian golden cat
Asian golden cat (C. temminckii)
European wildcat (F. silvestris)
African wildcat (F. lybica)
Jungle cat (F. chaus)
Black-footed cat (F. nigripes)
Sand cat (F. margarita)
Chinese mountain cat
Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti)
Domestic cat (F. catus)
Ocelot (L. pardalis)
Margay (L. wiedii)
Pampas cat (L. colocola)
Geoffroy's cat (L. geoffroyi)
Kodkod (L. guigna)
Andean mountain cat
Andean mountain cat (L. jacobita)
Oncilla (L. tigrinus)
Southern tigrina (L. guttulus)
Serval (L. serval)
Canadian lynx (L. canadensis)
Eurasian lynx (L. lynx)
Iberian lynx (L. pardinus)
Bobcat (L. rufus)
Pallas's cat (O. manul)
Marbled cat (P. marmorata)
Fishing cat (P. viverrinus)
Leopard cat (P. bengalensis)
Sundaland leopard cat (P. javanensis)
Flat-headed cat (P. planiceps)
Rusty-spotted cat (P. rubiginosus)
Cougar (P. concolor)
Jaguarundi (H. yagouaroundi)
Lion (P. leo)
Jaguar (P. onca)
Leopard (P. pardus)
Tiger (P. tigris)
Snow leopard (P. uncia)
Clouded leopard (N. nebulosa)
Sunda clouded leopard
Sunda clouded leopard (N. diardi)
Viverridae (includes Civets)
Binturong (A. binturong)
Small-toothed palm civet
Small-toothed palm civet (A. trivirgata)
Sulawesi palm civet
Sulawesi palm civet (M. musschenbroekii)
Masked palm civet
Masked palm civet (P. larvata)
Golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus)
Asian palm civet
Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)
Jerdon's palm civet (P. jerdoni)
Golden palm civet
Golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)
Owston's palm civet
Owston's palm civet (C. owstoni)
Otter civet (C. bennettii)
Hose's palm civet
Hose's palm civet (D. hosei)
Banded palm civet
Banded palm civet (H. derbyanus)
Banded linsang (P. linsang)
Spotted linsang (P. pardicolor)
African civet (C. civetta)
Abyssinian genet (G. abyssinica)
Angolan genet (G. angolensis)
Bourlon's genet (G. bourloni)
Crested servaline genet
Crested servaline genet (G. cristata)
Common genet (G. genetta)
Johnston's genet (G. johnstoni)
Rusty-spotted genet (G. maculata)
Pardine genet (G. pardina)
Aquatic genet (G. piscivora)
King genet (G. poensis)
Servaline genet (G. servalina)
Haussa genet (G. thierryi)
Cape genet (G. tigrina)
Giant forest genet
Giant forest genet (G. victoriae)
African linsang (P. richardsonii)
Leighton's linsang (P. leightoni)
Malabar large-spotted civet
Malabar large-spotted civet (V. civettina)
Large-spotted civet (V. megaspila)
Malayan civet (V. tangalunga)
Large Indian civet
Large Indian civet (V. zibetha)
Small Indian civet
Small Indian civet (V. indica)
Fossa (C. ferox)
Eastern falanouc (E. goudotii)
Western falanouc (E. major)
Malagasy civet (F. fossana)
Ring-tailed mongoose (G. elegans)
Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose (G. fasciata)
Grandidier's mongoose (G. grandidieri)
Narrow-striped mongoose (M. decemlineata)
Brown-tailed mongoose (S. concolor)
Durrell's vontsira (S. durrelli)
Caniformia (cont. below)
Giant panda (A. melanoleuca)
Sun bear (H. malayanus)
Sloth bear (M. ursinus)
Spectacled bear (T. ornatus)
American black bear
American black bear (U. americanus)
Brown bear (U. arctos)
Polar bear (U. maritimus)
Asian black bear
Asian black bear (U. thibetanus)
Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Molina's hog-nosed skunk (C. chinga)
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk (C. humboldtii)
American hog-nosed skunk
American hog-nosed skunk (C. leuconotus)
Striped hog-nosed skunk
Striped hog-nosed skunk (C. semistriatus)
Hooded skunk (M. macroura)
Striped skunk (M. mephitis)
Sunda stink badger
Sunda stink badger (M. javanensis)
Palawan stink badger
Palawan stink badger (M. marchei)
Southern spotted skunk
Southern spotted skunk (S. angustifrons)
Western spotted skunk
Western spotted skunk (S. gracilis)
Eastern spotted skunk
Eastern spotted skunk (S. putorius)
Pygmy spotted skunk
Pygmy spotted skunk (S. pygmaea)
Eastern lowland olingo
Eastern lowland olingo (B. alleni)
Northern olingo (B. gabbii)
Western lowland olingo
Western lowland olingo (B. medius)
Olinguito (B. neblina)
Ring-tailed cat (B. astutus)
Cacomistle (B. sumichrasti)
White-nosed coati (N. narica)
South American coati (N. nasua)
Western mountain coati (N. olivacea)
Eastern mountain coati (N. meridensis)
Kinkajou (P. flavus)
Crab-eating raccoon (P. cancrivorus)
Raccoon (P. lotor)
Cozumel raccoon (P. pygmaeus)
Red panda (A. fulgens)
Caniformia (cont. above)
(includes fur seals
and sea lions)
South American fur seal (A. australis)
Australasian fur seal (A. forsteri)
Galápagos fur seal
Galápagos fur seal (A. galapagoensis)
Antarctic fur seal
Antarctic fur seal (A. gazella)
Juan Fernández fur seal
Juan Fernández fur seal (A. philippii)
Brown fur seal
Brown fur seal (A. pusillus)
Guadalupe fur seal
Guadalupe fur seal (A. townsendi)
Subantarctic fur seal
Subantarctic fur seal (A. tropicalis)
Northern fur seal
Northern fur seal (C. ursinus)
Steller sea lion
Steller sea lion (E. jubatus)
Australian sea lion
Australian sea lion (N. cinerea)
South American sea lion (O. flavescens)
New Zealand sea lion
New Zealand sea lion (P. hookeri)
California sea lion
California sea lion (Z. californianus)
Galápagos sea lion
Galápagos sea lion (Z. wollebaeki)
Walrus (O. rosmarus)
Hooded seal (C. cristata)
Bearded seal (E. barbatus)
Gray seal (H. grypus)
Ribbon seal (H. fasciata)
Leopard seal (H. leptonyx)
Weddell seal (L. weddellii)
Crabeater seal (L. carcinophagus)
Northern elephant seal
Northern elephant seal (M. angustirostris)
Southern elephant seal
Southern elephant seal (M. leonina)
Mediterranean monk seal
Mediterranean monk seal (M. monachus)
Hawaiian monk seal
Hawaiian monk seal (M. schauinslandi)
Ross seal (O. rossi)
Harp seal (P. groenlandicus)
Spotted seal (P. largha)
Harbor seal (P. vitulina)
Caspian seal (P. caspica)
Ringed seal (P. hispida)
Baikal seal (P. sibirica)
Large family listed below
Large family listed below
Canidae (includes dogs)
Short-eared dog (A. microtis)
Side-striped jackal (C. adustus)
African golden wolf
African golden wolf (C. anthus)
Golden jackal (C. aureus)
Coyote (C. latrans)
Gray wolf (C. lupus)
Black-backed jackal (C. mesomelas)
Red wolf (C. rufus)
Ethiopian wolf (C. simensis)
Crab-eating fox (C. thous)
Maned wolf (C. brachyurus)
Dhole (C. alpinus)
Culpeo (L. culpaeus)
Darwin's fox (L. fulvipes)
South American gray fox (L. griseus)
Pampas fox (L. gymnocercus)
Sechuran fox (L. sechurae)
Hoary fox (L. vetulus)
African wild dog
African wild dog (L. pictus)
Raccoon dog (N. procyonoides)
Bat-eared fox (O. megalotis)
Bush dog (S. venaticus)
Gray fox (U. cinereoargenteus)
Island fox (U. littoralis)
Bengal fox (V. bengalensis)
Blanford's fox (V. cana)
Cape fox (V. chama)
Corsac fox (V. corsac)
Tibetan sand fox
Tibetan sand fox (V. ferrilata)
Arctic fox (V. lagopus)
Kit fox (V. macrotis)
Pale fox (V. pallida)
Rüppell's fox (V. rueppelli)
Swift fox (V. velox)
Red fox (V. vulpes)
Fennec fox (V. zerda)
African clawless otter
African clawless otter (A. capensis)
Oriental small-clawed otter
Oriental small-clawed otter (A. cinerea)
Sea otter (E. lutris)
Spotted-necked otter (H. maculicollis)
North American river otter
North American river otter (L. canadensis)
Marine otter (L. felina)
Neotropical otter (L. longicaudis)
Southern river otter
Southern river otter (L. provocax)
Eurasian otter (L. lutra)
Hairy-nosed otter (L. sumatrana)
Smooth-coated otter (L. perspicillata)
Giant otter (P. brasiliensis)
Hog badger (A. collaris)
Tayra (E. barbara)
Lesser grison (G. cuja)
Greater grison (G. vittata)
Wolverine (G. gulo)
Saharan striped polecat
Saharan striped polecat (I. libyca)
Striped polecat (I. striatus)
Patagonian weasel (L. patagonicus)
American marten (M. americana)
Yellow-throated marten (M. flavigula)
Beech marten (M. foina)
Nilgiri marten (M. gwatkinsii)
European pine marten
European pine marten (M. martes)
Japanese marten (M. melampus)
Sable (M. zibellina)
Fisher (P. pennanti)
Japanese badger (M. anakuma)
Asian badger (M. leucurus)
European badger (M. meles)
Honey badger (M. capensis)
Bornean ferret-badger (M. everetti)
Chinese ferret-badger (M. moschata)
Javan ferret-badger (M. orientalis)
Burmese ferret-badger (M. personata)
(Weasels and Ferrets)
Amazon weasel (M. africana)
Mountain weasel (M. altaica)
Stoat (M. erminea)
Steppe polecat (M. eversmannii)
Colombian weasel (M. felipei)
Long-tailed weasel (M. frenata)
Japanese weasel (M. itatsi)
Yellow-bellied weasel (M. kathiah)
European mink (M. lutreola)
Indonesian mountain weasel
Indonesian mountain weasel (M. lutreolina)
Black-footed ferret (M. nigripes)
Least weasel (M. nivalis)
Malayan weasel (M. nudipes)
European polecat (M. putorius)
Siberian weasel (M. sibirica)
Back-striped weasel (M. strigidorsa)
Egyptian weasel (M. subpalmata)
American mink (N. vison)
African striped weasel
African striped weasel (P. albinucha)
American badger (T. taxus)
Marbled polecat (V. peregusna)
Game animals and shooting in North America
Snipe (common snipe)
Cougar (mountain lion)
Big game hunting