Answers to her Questions

Mountain Lions CanLeap 15 feet up a treeClimb end a 12 foot fenceTravel numerous miles in ~ 10 mphReach speeds of 50 mph in a sprintIdentifying mountain Lion Tracks

Mountain lions have a distinctive “M” shame pad with three lobes top top the behind of the heel (dogs only have two lobes). Your claw marks do not show in the track. Walking, the cat’s hind foot steps in his fore track, creating overlapping patterns.  Their toe slant — similar to human feet — denote left or ideal foot. Dog tracks are more symmetrical, and also the elevated dirt in the middle forms an “X” shape. Click here for more information on hill lion tracks, scat and other signs.

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Are mountain Lions, Cougars and also Panthers every the very same Animal?

YES! The American lion’s clinical name is Puma concolor, and is occasionally referred to as “the cat of countless names.” The clinical name was adjusted from “Felis concolor” in current decades. Mountain lions as soon as ranged more extensively than any type of other mammal in the west Hemisphere. In history they might be discovered anywhere from the Canadian Yukon come the Straits the Magellan — over 110 degrees in latitude — and from the Atlantic seaboard come the Pacific Ocean. As a result, each native tribe and group of europe explorers gave the cat a different name. Today, hill lions are listed in dictionary under much more names than any kind of other animal in the world. Writer Claude T. Barnes detailed 18 indigenous South American, 25 native North American, and 40 English names for the exact same animal. Relying on the region and indigenous language, typical names for the American lion include: hill lion, cougar, panther, puma, painter, el leon, and also catamount. To learn more about the beginnings of few of these names, read Chapter 1 of Cougar: The American Lion.

Although the mountain lion might have more names and also nicknames than any other animal, the following are no names for lions and represent totally different species: bobcat, lynx, ocelot, jaguar, leopard, cheetah, Asiatic lion, african lion, and also tiger. Many civilization have heard the term “black panther,” yet these are actually melanistic jaguars or leopards: a genetic trait that makes an separation, personal, instance cat’s fur show up much darker than the normal coloration. To date there has never been a confirmed case of a melanistic (black) mountain lion.

How numerous Mountain Lions space There?

The solitary and also elusive nature of mountain lions provides them daunting to research study and practically impossible to count. Population estimation models are based on numerous permanent studies that lion populations, their prey, and habitat mapping. Based on the best easily accessible data in ~ this time, the mountain Lion foundation believes the mountain lion populace in the United claims is i can not qualify to exceed 30,000. And, countless of those lions depend upon severely fragmented and also degraded habitat, space in severe risk of over-hunting and also road kill, room imperiled by intolerance that their existence on the landscape, and are so few and unconnected they are on the edge of genetic viability. People are responsible for the death of more than 3,000 hill lions in the U.S. Each and also every year.

For much more information, read How numerous Lions room in the united States?

What Do mountain Lions look Like?

Puma concolor means lion the one color. Adult mountain lions have actually a tan-colored coat — much like the african lion — but are slighter in construct with a head the is smaller in proportion come its body.

Photo credit: Jason Klassi

The sexes look at alike, though male lions are 30 come 40 percent bigger than females. Though sizes vary significantly throughout the cat’s geographic range, a usual adult male will certainly weigh 110 come 180 pounds and the female 80 come 130 pounds. Impressive individuals have exceeded 200 pounds, but this is rare. Adult males will certainly measure 6 come 8 feet from nose to tail tip and females 5 come 7 feet. The most recognizable function of the American lion is the long and also heavy tail, i beg your pardon measures nearly one-third of the lion’s full length.

Mountain lion kittens or cubs (either ax is correct) have camouflaging spots and also rings around their tails the fade together they mature.

For more information on  mountain lions inspect out MLF’s biological & habits page. Come learn how to determine a lion’s age and also gender, check out this helpful ID Guide from the Washington department of Fish and also Wildlife.

How and Where do hill Lions Live in the U.S.?

Mountain lions supplied to occupy the whole United states coast-to-coast, however today they space primarily uncovered in 14 western says with a tiny endangered population in Florida. 5 very small populations have regained an unsteady foothold just east of the Rockies in the 1980s and also 90s, however their future is uncertain.

They prefer locations with dense undergrowth and cover, and will leave an area if they perceive a threat. Discovered in deserts, humid coastline forests, arid hillsides, scrub and also oak woodlands, lions can live native sea level come snow-covered hill peaks.

A ten year expectation is thought about old period for a hill lion in the wild. Lions in captivity have been recognized to live double that long. In locations where mountain lions are hunted for sport, just a tiny percentage make it past five years old.

Mountain lions space solitary uneven mating or parenting and maintain regions that average 100 square miles in size. Lions note their regions by clawing trees and also urinating on scrape piles of dry leaves, grass or pine tree needles. They will fight various other lions, also to the death, to defend their territory. A female with kittens will relocate to a new den website within she territory every few weeks to safeguard her kittens indigenous predators and also male lions. To learn more about “Cougars in ~ Home,” check out Chapter three of MLF’s on-line book; Cougar: The American Lion.

What Do mountain Lions Eat?

Opportunistic hunters, hill lions commonly hunt alone native dusk to dawn, taking their food (primarily deer) native behind. Top top average, a lion will kill a deer around once a week. They also dine top top coyotes, raccoons, rodents, elk, feral hogs, and even porcupines. They may drag the enjoy the meal to an additional area and cover it with dry leaves, grass or pine tree needles to safeguard the food indigenous other pets and to reduce spoilage. A hill lion might return to feeding at the website over a period of numerous days. For more information on a lion’s diet, read Chapter four of MLF’s on-line book; Cougar: The American Lion.

Are hill Lions Dangerous?

To deer, yes! come people, no so much. Human being encounters with mountain lions room rare and also the threat of an attack is infinitely small. You are more likely to drown in her bathtub, be eliminated by a pet dog, or fight by lightning. If lions had any natural urge to hunt people, there would be strikes every solitary day. Instead, they prevent us.

But if friend live, work, or pat in cat country, be alert! Avoid walking alone in between dusk and also dawn once lions are many active. Keep your children and pets close come you. Never approach or corner a hill lion (or any wild animal). If you execute encounter a mountain lion, STOP. Perform NOT RUN. Unlike security advice for encountering bears, execute not act timid or play dead in prior of a cat.

Instead: preserve eye contact. Was standing tall. Look at bigger by opening your coat or increasing your arms. Gradually wave your arms and speak firmly. Litter items at the lion if necessary. Give the cat room and also time to move on.

In the rare event of an attack, struggle back. Most people succeed in driving the mountain lion away.

How have the right to I safeguard My Pets and Livestock from hill Lions?

If you live in or approximately mountain lion habitat, it is way to bring your pets indoors at night. Although quiet a relatively rare occurrence, domestic animals can be straightforward meal for hill lions and other wild predators. Mountain lions hunt primarily at night and also unprotected pets, sheep and also goats are easy prey. Most pets and livestock execute not have the an abilities to defend themselves and also are dependence on world for their safety. The threat to domestic pets from mountain lions can quickly be avoided by modifying animal husbandry practices. View MLF’s 4 straightforward Steps for an ext details.

Will Sport hunting of Lions enhance the safety and security of People, Pets and Livestock?

No. The assertion that sport hunting is a necessary and effective strategy for reducing mountain lion strikes on world remains extensive in the tendency media and in the renowned literature. While part state wildlife agencies, such as in California and also Wyoming, state the sport searching cannot be intended to boost public safety, other state organ have claimed the opposite, supposedly to garner public support for sport hunting. Because that example, without any type of scientific research study to earlier their theory, in 2005 the southern Dakota Game, Fish and Parks readily available as the primary justification for their state’s first-ever sport searching season on hill lions the it “may it is in a an ext effective solution for managing problems brought about by mountain lions.” This would be favor the police department speak their new plan to alleviate crime is to begin randomly arresting innocent world on the street.

Annually death off thousands of lions in wilderness locations that avoid people does no make the remaining lion populace fearful of humans.

An overwhelming variety of studies have plainly demonstrated that sport searching of lions not just does not increase the public’s safety, it also does not alleviate depredation on breed boy or other domestic animals, and also in fact appears to be responsible for the rise in human/lion conflicts in areas where lion mortality is excessive. For an ext information see Effects that Sport searching on Cougar Population, Community and Landscape Ecology and the latest research on what happens as soon as adult lions space excessively hunted: Troubled Teens.

If hill Lions Aren’t threatened Why carry out They have to Be Protected?

Although countless people believe the number of lions in the U.S. Is increasing, this is not the case. Habitat destruction, roadkill, poaching, poisoning and primarily trophy hunters space killing more mountain lions now than at any kind of other time in our nation’s history. More lions room being shot today by hunters than were killed during America’s bounty period when occupants were paid because that helping remove unwanted species; and also quotas proceed to be enhanced every single year. There is no legitimate factor to trophy hunt hill lions: it is purely a recreational sport. MLF and also our supporters around the globe think it is time for this brutal and also outdated pastime to pertained to an end. That is no longer in line through society’s views and our continuing to be wildlands cannot endure the slaughter that this apex species.


Wildlife biologists recognize mountain lions are vital and invaluable. That is a keystone species playing one irreplaceable and facility role ~ above the landscape. Lions exist in short densities and also are self-regulating which means they control their own population size in balance v the ecosystem there is no the need for human intervention. Peak carnivores help maintain the plants and also animals within your range. Mountain lions keep deer herds ~ above the move so the they carry out not overgraze in any certain area. This behavioral adjust results in less erosion follow me riverbanks and also increases habitat because that other species like songbirds. Ecosystems v lions room healthier, an ext sustainable, and also contain a richer balance that nature.

Because they space so an overwhelming to research, us don’t recognize how many are left, just that we are making it increasingly daunting for lions come find an ideal habitat and also avoid hunters. If the species is to survive, or stand a chance at recolonizing the east two-thirds of our country, efficient protection laws need come be put in ar now. To uncover out more about the threats encountering mountain lions in America today, visit MLF’s risks page.

What is the hill Lion Foundation?

Founded in 1986 to protect against the trophy hunting of hill lions in California, the hill Lion foundation (MLF) has grown into a national, non-profit conservation and education organization dedicated to protecting mountain lions and also their habitat. MLF has actually inspired citizens across the nation to action on instead of of lions and also their habitat by presenting practical solutions to facility problems, offering unbiased details to media, aiding local activists, cultivating lion research, influencing regulation and changing laws.

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Your membership, at any level, makes you part of a nationwide network of people who commit dollars and energy come the cause of saving America’s Lion. For much more information on that we are and also what us have accomplished visit MLF’s about page.

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