Mountain Lion, NPS photoMountain Lion, NPS photoMountain Lion, USDA photo

The mountain lion (Felis concolor), also known as the puma or cougar, is the largest feline in North America. Although not commonly seen, they persist in stable densities throughout the Crown of the Continent.

Mountain lions can be found in most habitat types, but tend to prefer more wooded areas where they can utilize cover for sneaking up on prey. With the exceptions of mating, and when females are raising young, mountain lions are solitary and elusive. Mountain lions have one of the largest home ranges of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere. These home ranges include areas to hunt and rest, sources for water, lookout positions, and denning sites where cubs can be safely reared.

As one of the Crown’s larger predators, mountain lions pursue a wide variety of prey, including deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as smaller animals. They usually hunt at night or during dawn or dusk, and after a successful hunt, will hide large carcasses and feed on them for several days.