Question for you:
What do panthers, pumas, cougars, mountain lions, and catamounts have in common?
They’re all the same animal!
These various names are all applied to the same large cat that is native to the Americas. Their fur is beige with some black markings around the tail, ears, and snouts.1
Mountain lions are found in several different habitats including mountains, forests, and deserts.1 The most important thing for their habitats to have is cover.2&3 While they used to be found throughout the United States, they now can only be found in western states and Florida.1&2 In the 19th and 20th centuries, humans killed off almost all of the mountain lions in the eastern United States because they thought that they were a threat to livestock.1&4
Mountain lions are carnivores and are very territorial.1&2 Their prey includes: deer, coyotes, raccoons, elk, and porcupines. They will hunt when the sun goes down and they’ll stalk their prey before pouncing on them and taking them down.1
According to the IUCN, mountain lions are considered to be of Least Concern.4 However, the Florida population is considered critically endangered.1&2 These felines often face threats from loss of habitat, car crashes, and trophy hunting.2
They are also a keystone species, which means that they play a significant role in their environment. They force deer to move around and keep them from overgrazing on plants, which helps stop erosion and keep a healthier ecosystem.2
Now, do you know how to tell crows and ravens apart? There’s a real difference! Read here!