• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Cougar

photograph of three mountain lions

Mountain lions

NPS Photo

Cougar
Felis concolor

Body length: 42 - 54"; tail 30 - 36"
Diet: Mostly deer; other mammals, and tortoises

Mountain lions, also called pumas, panthers, and cougars, are large animals. Adult males are nearly 5 feet long, excluding the tail, stand close to 3 feet at the shoulder, and weigh up to 190 pounds. They can be readily distinguished from bobcats by their larger size and long tails.

Mountain lions are known for their reclusive lifestyle, and are rarely seen by humans. Nevertheless, photographs taken by hidden, infrared-triggered cameras have revealed that several lions visit Tonto National Monument on a regular basis.

The principal food for mountain lions is deer, and studies show that most prey taken is in poor condition. Nevertheless, this most impressive of Arizona carnivores will sometimes eat other animals, including collared peccaries, cattle, sheep, jackrabbits, and desert tortoises.

Did You Know?

snow in the desert

Tonto National Monument averages 15" of rain annually. Snow is a rare occurrence, but as long as temperatures remain above freezing, the saguaros don't seem to mind!