Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The mountain lion, or cougar, Felis concolor, was once the most widely distributed mammal (besides humans) in the Americas. The species ranged from Canada to southern Chile, and from coast to coast in North and South America. In the United States, the species in now mainly restricted to mountainous areas in the western part of the country, although isolated populations do occur elsewhere. The species is still fairly common throughout Utah, but individuals are rarely seen due to their secretive nature.

Females may produce one litter of one to six kittens about every two years. Cougars are active year-round, during both day and night, although most activity occurs at dawn and dusk. Cougars are carnivores, with diets composed of deer, rabbits, rodents, and other animals. They are hunted on a limited, and closely monitored, basis in Utah.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.