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Mountain Lion

Scientific Name:

Puma concolor




Forests, mountains, savannas, grasslands, shrublands, and deserts


Western North America, Central America, most of South America, and the southern tip of Florida


Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Mountain lions are large cats that can vary greatly in size depending on their location, with the smallest individuals closest to the equator and the largest closest to the poles. In Nevada, the average male mountain lion weighs 137 pounds and the average female 98 pounds. The cats have fur that is generally the same color across their entire bodies, with shades varying from yellow and tan to rusty-brown and gray.

Fast Facts:

  • Mountain lions are known by many names, including puma, cougar, panther, and catamount.

  • While mountain lion populations are decreasing in general, the population in Nevada is healthy statewide. This is a result of Nevadan mountain lions living in remote, mountainous areas away from humans, their main threat.

  • Unlike other large cats, mountain lions are unable to roar, instead communicating through purrs, hisses, and growls.

  • In the Paiute langugae, mountain lions are called Kakwe Toohoo’o.



Sarah Epstein (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

March 27, 2024 at 1:48:22 AM

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