Mountain Lion

Mountain Lions are the second largest wild cat in North America second to the jaguar. Mountain Lion coloration varies, but they typically have yellow-brown to gray-brown fur with a buff colored belly. They are known for their long tails which help them keep balance. Mountain Lions can be found in a variety of habitats from tropical forests to deserts. This is an exceptionally strong species with large claws and paws. They are easily distinguished from other wild cats in Nevada due to their large size and long tails.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Puma concolor
CLASSIFICATION
Mammal
LIFE SPAN
12-15 Years
SIZE
34-61 ” | 64-264 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Big Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Mountain Lions are adapted to a wide variety of habitats and environmental conditions found throughout Nevada. They prefer dense cover or rocky, rugged terrain, and also occur in low desert areas. In Nevada, Mountain Lion habitat is commonly associated with pinyon pine, juniper, and mountain mahogany.

  • Cold desert shrubland and sagebrush
  • Grasslands
  • Upland Forests

Threats

  • Drought
  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

Mountain Lions are carnivores who depend on meat for their survival. Their prey ranges from large game like mule deer and klk to small game like porcupines, coyotes, and rabbits. As ambush predators, Mountain Lions quietly stalk their prey or wait for it to get close to them before leaping onto the prey item. Mountain Lions will cache their prey under leaves or debris and come back to eat it at a later time. They are important predators in their habitats and help to control the populations of large ungulates like elk, deer, and pronghorn. Mountain Lions are solitary animals with large home ranges. Females have home ranges of nearly 90 square miles, while males have home ranges of nearly 175 square miles! Breeding can occur at any time during the year, but most kittens in Nevada are born in June and July.

Fun Facts

Mountain Lions have many different names including puma, cougar, and catamount.