Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters



Cougar Puma concolor

The cougar is a large carnivore that is native to North America. Sometimes called a Mountain Lion or Puma, it ranges from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America. It is the second-heaviest feline in the Americas, the heaviest being the Jaguar. The cougar eats mainly ungulates and may consume a wide variety of other animals including seals, raccoons, rodents, and rabbits, but can prey on pets and livestock if other prey is scarce. They are mainly nocturnal and crepuscular, but are sometimes seen during the day. They generally avoid contact with humans, and are shy and secretive, but they do venture into populated areas from time to time. They are territorial and the males and females have their own territories. The home ranges of males vary from 25 to 1300 square km in size, and  rarely overlap. The home ranges of females are thought to be smaller, as much as a half the size of those of males, but they can overlap with those of other females and often with those of males. Females weigh an average of 42 kg and are up to 2.05 m in length. Males weigh an average 64 kg and are 2.4 m long from nose tip to tail tip. Females have a litter of between 1-6 cubs every 15 to 23 months starting at 1.5-3 years of age. Females assume all the parenting duties, and are fiercely defensive of their cubs. Survival rate is about one per litter.