Puma Profelis concolor (Linné, 1758)


English: Mountain Lion, Puma or Cougar; French: Puma; Algonquin: Mihibiji; Aztek: miztli; Brasilian: Onca parda, Onca vermelha, Leao; Guarani: Yagúa-pitá; Mapuche, Maya: Pangui, Chrapial, coh/Koh; Shurr: Tse Ku tsenku; Spanish: Puma; Tupi: Sussuarana.

Former distribution: From southern Alaska to the southern Yukon Territory, Canada and USA, from coast to coast to Newfoundland and to Florida; south to Central America and South America to the Magellan Straits.
Present distribution: From the Rocky Mountains south to Alberta, and British Columbia south to Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, central America, South America to Patagonia.
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: mountains, steppes, dense decidous forests, grassland, deserts and even swamps. Activity predominantly nocturnal. Pumas are known to be good swimmers. Prey varies according to the habitat and includes: deer, moose, wild domestic sheep, goats, horses, cows, porcupines, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, coyotes, huemul, guanacos, peccaries, agoutis, monkeys, ant-eaters, pampas deer, marsh deer, pudus, tapirs, reahs, brockets, rats, mice, game birds and poultry; also berries, grass, fish and sometimes carrion and insects.
Population status: In general stable; in some regions rare and endangered.
Estimated numbers in North America: 4000-6500 acc. to GUGGISBERG (1975). Profelis c. coryi is endangered: 300 probably still present in Florida. Profelis c. cougar, in Virginia, Carolina; in Brunswick, Canada 25-50. Profelis c. costaricensis is vulnerable.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 67-103 kg
Head and body length: 105-196 cm
Tail length: 66-78 cm
Shoulder height: 60-76 cm
Gestation period: 90-96 days
Maximum age: 18 years
Trophy: Skull record B&C: 16 points, 1964 G. ROBERTS. SCI: 15 8/16″, 1984 E.E. FINCKHEIMER; average: 14″.
Hunting methods: Stalking, with dogs and traps.
Subspecies: 30; 13 Nearctic, 17 Neo-tropical region
1. Profelis c. cougar From the Mississipi to the Atlantic coast. Endangered.
2. Profelis c. vancouverensis Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Stable.
3. Profelis c. olympus Olympic peninsula, west Washington. Stable.
4. Profelis c. missoulensis North and east British Columbia, west Mackenzie, Alberta, Saskatchewan, north-east Oregon, northwest Dakota. Stable.
5. Profelis c. californica California. Stable.
6. Profelis c. kaibabensis Nevada, Utha, north Arizona. Stable.
7. Profelis c. hippolestes Wyoming, south-east Idaho, north-east Utah, Colorado, north New Mexico, west Minnesota, east Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Stable.
8. Profelis c. coryi Only in Louisiana and south Florida. Endangered.
9. Profelis c. stanleyana Texas, Oklahoma, north-east Mexico. Vulnerable.
10. Profelis c. azteca Arizona, New Mexico, west Mexico. Vulnerable.
11. Profelis c. browni South-west Arizona, south-east California, northeast California, north-west Sonora. Stable.
12. Profelis c. improcera Lower California. Rare.
13. Profelis c. oregonensis British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and north California. Stable.
Neo-tropical region
14. Profelis c. concolor Venezuela, Guyana, French Guyana, northern Brazil. Vulnerable.
15. Profelis c. costaricensis Honduras, San Salvador to Panama. Vulnerable.
16. Profelis c. bangsi Northern Columbia to north-western Venezuela. Vulnerable.
17. Profelis c. söderströmi Southern Columbia to northern Ecuador. Vulnerable.
18. Profelis c. mayensis Southern Mexico to Guatemala. Vulnerable.
19. Profelis c. anthonyi Southern Venezuela, eastern Columbia. Vulnerable.
20. Profelis c. borbensis Amazonas basin. Vulnerable.
21. Profelis c. greeni Eastern Brazil, from Maranhao and Goyaz to the Atlantic coast. Vulnerable.
22. Profelis c. capricornensis Southern Brazil. Endangered.
23. Profelis c. acrocodia Matto Grosso, Paraguay, eastern Bolivia. Vulnerable.
24. Profelis c. osgoodi Bolivia. Vulnerable.
25. Profelis c. incorum Southern Ecuador to southern Peru. Vulnerable.
26. Profelis c. puma Northern Chile to north-western Argentina. Stable.
27. Profelis c. cabrerae Central Argentina, southern Brazil and Uruguay. Vulnerable.
28. Profelis c. araucana Central Chile and western Argentina. Stable.
29. Profelis c. patagonica South Chile, southern Argentina. Stable.
30. Profelis c. pearsoni Patagonia. Stable.
Remarks: The numerous numbers of subspecies, listed here and recognized by IUCN, 1978 (YOUNG and GOLDMAN 1946) seem to be very doubtful. A revision is required. My suggestion is to study the possibility of 7 distribution areas:
I. Subspecies
II. Subspecies
Neo-tropical region:
III. Subspecies 14.15.
IV. Subspecies
V. Subspecies
VI. Subspecies 24.25.
VII. Subspecies
With regard to its population status in the main distribution areas the pumas are stable – as in the western North American regions – but vulnerable or endangered in the eastern North American regions as well as in most of the central American countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, San Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica. Further south, into the South American regions the status of pumas may be unreliable and more reports are required. With regard to the Patagonian regions in Chile and Argentina, an ex pansion of the population has been recorded, due to the increase of prey species such as deer and livestock.