Mountain Lion

Puma concolor





Puma concolor, more commonly known as a mountain lion, are the most widely distributed native mammal in the western hemisphere (2). They are the largest cat in California, reaching lengths of up to 2.5 m and weighing up to 100 kg (1). Often a sandy color with brownish spots, P. concolor avoid grassland and other open environments (1)(2). Instead, they prefer rocky cliffs, vegetated ridge tops or other areas that provide cover which helps in hunting their prey (2). P. concolor primarily feed on large hoofed animals, though smaller mammals like squirrels, rabbits, and even skunks are also eaten (1)(2). Their ability to eat a wide range of prey assist in their widespread distribution (2). The home range varies by many factors including sex, age, density of prey, and presence of humans (2). Habitat loss is noted as the primary threat to mountain lions (2).


(1) Jameson, E. W., Jr., & Peeters, H. J. (2004). Mammals of California (Revised ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

(2) Tesky, Julie L. 1995. Puma concolor. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer)

(Photograph) Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences